Kochi, Feb 11: For Seychelles Vice President Vincent Meriton, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) is an event that gives people “the hope to live by putting art at the centre of life”.
Among a host of high-ranking officials and foreign representatives to visit the ongoing third edition of the Biennale over the past week, Mr Meriton spent time looking at the exhibits at primary venue Aspinwall House in Fort Kochi on Thursday (Feb 09).
“The Biennale puts art at the centre of life, something that one would have never thought was possible. The event allows us to dwell not only within the realms and mind spaces of the artist, but of everybody who visits this space. We need hope to appreciate each other irrespective of the boundaries and differences between us. And this festival keeps our hopes alive,” he said.
Mr Meriton noted that he was especially moved by Chilean poet Raúl Zurita’s installation ‘Sea of Pain’ and Hungarian artist István Csákány’s ‘Ghost Keeping’.
“Through hopelessness and hope, these works shed light on the cries of the souls who have departed, which are being represented by those who are left behind. It also conveys that while modernisation has helped a lot, we have also lost a lot. The work conveys that we should keep our humanity even when we are chasing profits,” Mr Meriton addded.
The list of visiting dignitaries include Australian High Commissioner to India Ms Harinder Sidhu, Belgian diplomat Ilse Dauwe and Sultan Saif Al-Mahrouqi, a government representative of the Sultanate of Oman.
“I am very impressed by the collection of artworks at the Biennale, which demonstrates how exciting the Indian art scene is at the moment. Australia has been participating in the event since its inception and this year we have three artists from Australia. Events like the Biennale give us a platform for the exchange of arts and culture, which is very important because we get to understand each other much better and more deeply,” said Ms Sidhu.
Mr Al-Mahrouqi said that he saw the Biennale as representational of the cosmopolitan nature of “Indian civilisation” and expressed his admiration for choosing to the host the event in venues and sites that are of great historical importance.
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