Senior diplomats and top police officers were among the personalities who made it to the Kochi-Muziris Biennale this weekend, adding to the crowd marking the Christmas vacation that is expected to further enliven the 108-day art festival.
Indian Ambassador to the Netherlands Venu Rajamony said the range in the ages of the artists was striking. “Young, middle-aged, old…. They are all there,” he said, mentioning his pleasure in “seeing this festival grow all these years”. As for the exhibits, ‘Canes of Wrath’, which talks about the contemporary political society riddled by antagonism, the work by BV Suresh, was a “powerful statement”, he said.
Excise Commissioner Rishi Raj Singh was impressed by the strong participation of artists from Africa, Lebanon, Cuba and the Caribbean countries along with a major presence of Indian artists. “I am amazed at the variety of installations this time. It’s an overwhelming experience,” said the officer, a regular visitor at the Biennale since its start in 2012. He particularly lauded the works of artists Sue Williamson and Shilpa Gupta and also the “intricacy” in the work of Bapi Das, an auto driver by profession.
Former IPS officer Kuldip Sharma was all praise for the service of the art mediators.
Among other visitors on Saturday were Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa and S Hari Kishore, Executive Director of the Kerala government’s women-empowering Kudumbashree Mission.