Pranab Mukherjee makes first-ever Presidential visit to Biennale

Kochi, March 2: Making the maiden visit by a sitting Indian head of state to the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB), Honourable President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee today took in the diverse array of artistic production on offer at the third edition of India’s only Biennale. 

After inaugurating a seminar at the Pavilion in Cabral Yard, the President received a guided tour of the primary venue, Aspinwall House, from KMB 2016 curator Sudarshan Shetty. Accompanying the President were Honourable Governor Justice P. Sathasivam, Honourable Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, Kochi Corporation Mayor Smt. Soumini Jain and Honourable Minister for Tourism Shri Kadakampally Surendran.

The President first visited the epic mural ‘12 stories (of the 12 Progeny)’ being worked on by participating artist P.K. Sadanandan. Taking an interest in the 15 m long and three m wide wall painting, he listened attentively as the master muralist explained the back story behind each panel of the artwork as well as his exclusive use of natural colours.

After looking over the space for theatre practitioner’s Anamika Haksar’s stage production ‘Composition on water’ and visiting artist Gauri Gill’s photo exhibition ‘Traces’, the President  listened in silence as Shetty explained the intent behind Chilean poet-revolutionary Raúl Zurita’s installation ‘Sea of Pain’.

The group, together with KMB co-founders Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu, concluded the tour with a visit to American artist Camille Norment’s sound art installation ‘Prime’.

Sharing a bench – equipped with exciters that generate vibrations in sync with sounds played over loudspeakers – with Shri Vijayan, the President looked out over the sea. Others in the group, including the Governor and Shri Surendran, partook of the experience as well.

The President had landed in Cochin Navy Airport at 3.30 pm, where he was welcomed by the Governor, the Chief Minister, the Mayor, the Tourism Minister, Opposition leader Shri Ramesh Chennithala, former Chief Minister Oomen Chandy, Kerala Police Chief DGP Loknath Behera and Kochi Biennale Foundation Trustee Bonny Thomas.



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