Foreign Art Festival Curators Hail Uniqueness of KMB 2016


Kochi: The Liverpool Biennial founder-director Lewis Biggs and Aichin Triennale curator Shihoko Iida commended the third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB), noting that India’s only biennale bears a uniqueness, thanks to its geography, history, spaces and people, that make it stand out from every other art event in the world.

“KMB 2016 is not a replication of any other biennial or art festival happening around the world,” said Biggs, who is visiting Kochi to see the exhibition. “This is my first experience and I am happy that more people are joining in because this edition has included performing arts with the visual art works,” said the celebrated curator, who helmed the Liverpool Biennial for a decade till 2011.

He highlighted the importance of the KMB ‘16 theme, ‘Forming in the pupil of an eye’. “We curators always try innovative titles to attract the art crowd. India has a very strong culture and heritage that add advantage to the festival. Moreover, Fort Kochi is geographically beautiful, as well,” he added.

The second week of KMB has seen a steady stream of international art festival curators.

Tokyo-based curator Shihoko Iida talked about the historical relevance of KMB in rebuilding a consciousness among the local people of the multiple cultural influences on this ancient town and its evolution into a vibrant place.

“A lot of changes and mobility has happened since the 15th and 16th centuries. People tend to forget what has happened in the past, but KMB will function as a reminder to the past and build the future,” said Iida.

Impressed by the venues that blend the vibrancy and beauty of heritage and nature, Iida sensed, as a curator, the importance of venues selected at KMB ‘16. “All the venues are important heritage sites, with nuances of the colonial era, reminding viewers about the geography and history of Kochi,” she observed.

“Also, the tropical and eco-friendly surroundings provide a very dynamic and organic atmosphere. I have become a great fan of KMB and am already looking forward to the next edition,” she said.