KBF ties up with art majors in ambitious initiative to develop, celebrate art

Kochi-Muziris Biennale becomes part of influential 11-member strong ‘New North and South’
network comprising leading art events in South Asia and institutions in North of England

Kochi, Feb 10: In a move that will provide a fillip to art in India, the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) has joined up with 10 leading contemporary arts institutions from across South Asia and North England to create a hub for collaboration in art and knowledge production and exchange.

Over a three year programme of co-commissions, exhibitions and other events, the ‘New North and South’ network will showcase the best of contemporary art in both regions, promote their artistic and intellectual expressions and explore their shared heritage and contested histories.

The initiative sees the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, the Dhaka Art Summit, the Karachi and Lahore biennales and the Colombo Biennale from the sub-continent come together in partnership with such major contemporary arts organisations from the North of England as the Manchester Art Gallery, the Whitworth Art Gallery, the Manchester Museum, the Liverpool Biennial and The Tetley art gallery along with the British Council. It is supported by Arts Council England.

“In keeping with its mandate to collaborate and engage, the Foundation is proud to work with a range of partners in South Asia and in the UK on this long term initiative to share knowledge and creativity across the world. We thank the Arts Council of England for their support and look forward to a productive and shared future,” said KBF President Bose Krishnamachari.

In order to better connect with the diverse audiences on two continents, the initiative will present an ongoing series of solo artist exhibitions, performances, film screenings, music events and social history projects. The on-ground programme begins in Manchester in March with a retrospective of photographs by Sooni Taraporevala at the Whitworth.

Over the months thereafter, the city hosts exhibitions by artists Mehreen Murtaza, Waqas Khan, Hetain Patel, Neha Choksi, Risham Syed and the Tentative Collective at Manchester Art Gallery; the Raqs Media Collective and Raqib Shaw at the Whitworth; Reena Saini Kallat at Manchester Museum and a new performance by Nikhil Chopra at the Museum of Science and Industry.

In parallel to the public programmes, the network will facilitate a series of residencies hosted by the Liverpool Biennial. The residencies will enable mid-career artists from South Asia to work with, or be supported by, artists and curators with international reputations.

Meanwhile, The Tetley will host in Leeds a workshop facilitated by Chopra, Madhavi Gore and Jana Prepeluh. As well, 12 artists selected by the network and drawn from across South Asia and the UK will incubate new ideas and deliver a weekend of talks and performances in August.

Noting that the biennales in South Asia were at the forefront of nurturing new artistic talent in the region, Jim Hollington, Director Arts South Asia, British Council, said, “We are delighted to have helped match them with their peers in the North of England. The resulting exchange and collaboration will strengthen the institutions and individuals involved, and deepen understanding between people in the UK and South Asia of each other’s creative talent.”


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