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Govt. to find permanent venue for Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Pinarayi

Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016 participating artist P K Sadanandan explaining his artwork to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at Aspin Wall, Kochi on December 12, 2016.
Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016 participating artist P K Sadanandan explaining his artwork to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at Aspin Wall, Kochi on December 12, 2016.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) here at today and promised that the state government would take steps to provide a permanent home for India's only biennale.
 
Speaking on the occasion, he said the lack of a permanent venue for the contemporary art show was a serious issue.
 
Mr. Vijayan said the binennale had gained significant credibility in the international contemporary art world and the government was looking to develop it along the lines of the Venice Biennale.
 
“The ancient history of Kochi is marked with adventure and the idea to organise the Biennale here tells us that there is adventure in its present too. Just as the Biennale created history in Kochi, a permanent venue for the Biennale will also create history,” he said.
 
“Already, the LDF government has allocated a sum of Rs 7.5 crore in its budget to organise the Biennale. This is the highest ever funding allotted to an art event by a state government in India,” Mr. Vijayan said, pointing out that the concept for the Biennale was announced in 2010 – during the tenure of the previous Left government, which had sanctioned the first disbursement of funds towards the event’s operational expenses.
 
The Chief Minister termed the Biennale a gateway between Kerala and the world through which the diverse expressions of international art and culture move freely and are brought together under one umbrella. He also called Kochi the perfect place to host the Biennale owing to its rich cosmopolitan heritage and multi-layered cultural tapestry.
 
“Though the Biennale is primarily an art event, it has economic and social benefits too. It has energised the tourism sector. The statistics show that lakhs of cultural enthusiasts surged to Kochi from around the different corners of the world to view the first two editions. Both Kochi and Kerala benefit from this influx,” he said.
 
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The inauguration ceremony also saw in attendance Kerala Minister for Tourism Kadakampally Surendran and former Minister for Culture M.A. Baby.
 
“The Biennale has become a pilgrimage site for art lovers around the globe and it has become a space for artists from Kerala to interact with foreign artists,” Mr. Surendran said.
 
Kochi Mayor Soumini Jain was also present at the event.
 
Lulu Group founder and managing director Padma M.A. Yousuf Ali, a committed long-term patron of the Biennale, pledged Rs 2 crore to the next edition of the KMB.
 
KMB 2016 curator Sudarshan Shetty outlined his artistic vision for the Biennale. Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) President Bose Krishnamachari delivered the vote of thanks while KBF Secretary Riyas Komu made the welcome speech.
 
“In a time of ideological and cultural upheavals, the Biennale is an inspirational force. The stories that the KMB tells us instills a sense of pride in culture and stokes our creativity,” Komu said. 
KBF CEO Manju Sara Rajan was present as were a host of KBF trustees and patrons.
 
Prior to the inaugural function, a ‘chenda melam’ of 150 percussionists led by Peruvanam Kuttan Marar welcomed the dignitaries and public to the venue. Following the ceremony, there was a concert by noted singer Suman Sridhar and The Black Mamba.
 
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