Pranab Mukherjee makes first-ever Presidential visit to Biennale

President Shri  Pranab Mukherjee delivers the inaugural speech for a seminar titled 'Importance of sustainable culture-building' as part of Kochi Biennale 2016 at Cabral Yard Pavilion, Fort Kochi.
President Shri  Pranab Mukherjee delivers the inaugural speech for a seminar titled 'Importance of sustainable culture-building' as part of Kochi Biennale 2016 at Cabral Yard Pavilion, Fort Kochi.
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.

Noting that the Kochi Biennale Foundation was a good example of what is possible when different agencies come together to pursue profound goals, the Honourable President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee said here today that the Biennale model needed to be replicated across the country.

“The collaborative nature of the partnership between the government and the KBF, and the very successful result of that partnership, is proof of what can be achieved when a government invests in culture. Public funding for the arts provides support, offers certainty and the opportunity to touch the lives of vast numbers of people,” the President said.

“Public funds have the power to act as seed funding, giving others the confidence to invest in the creation and innovation of cultural organisations like the Kochi Biennale Foundation which, along with the Kerala government, is providing cultural stewardship and playing host to global artistic ideas on our own ground. When you partner that with innovative ideas and a unique point of view, the results can be staggering and beautiful,” he added.

 Chief Minister  Pinarayi Vijayan presenting a memento to President Pranab Mukherjee during the latter's visit to Kochi Biennale for inaugurating a seminar.Kerala Governor Chief Justice (Retd) Shri  P Sathasivam ,Prof K V Thomas MP,Minister for Tourism Shri Kadakampally Surendran, Kochi Corporation Mayor Smt Soumini Jain, Shri K J Maxi MLA,Kochi Biennale founders Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu were among the dignitaries.
 Chief Minister  Pinarayi Vijayan presenting a memento to President Pranab Mukherjee during the latter's visit to Kochi Biennale for inaugurating a seminar.Kerala Governor Chief Justice (Retd) Shri  P Sathasivam ,Prof K V Thomas MP,Minister for Tourism Shri Kadakampally Surendran, Kochi Corporation Mayor Smt Soumini Jain, Shri K J Maxi MLA,Kochi Biennale founders Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu were among the dignitaries.

The event was attended by Honourable Governor of Kerala Justice P. Sathasivam, Honourable Chief Minister of Kerala Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, Kochi Corporation Mayor Smt. Soumini Jain, Honourable Minister for Tourism Shri Kadakampally Surendan, Prof. K.V. Thomas MP and Shri K.J. Maxi MLA.

 “Contemporary art is one of the most significant ways of expressing thoughts, emotions, concerns and ideas that are current, that are relevant to us in the time we live in. The fact that Kerala, this land of history and tradition, now hosts the largest show of contemporary art in the region, and that too a show that was seeded by government, speaks to the unique ways of this state and its people,” the President said, in his inaugural address.

“Kerala has always been known for its secular approach towards art and culture. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) is a proud symbol of this approach and the sense of oneness and inclusivity that exists here. The KMB, which is today known as the People’s Biennale, has become an integral part of the cultural calendar of our country. It has rejuvenated Kerala’s longstanding contribution to visual arts and culture, and cemented Kochi’s status as a cosmopolitan city brimming with potential and ideas,” he added.

Observing that the Biennale had “transformed ‘God’s Own Country’ into a paradise of the world of art”, the Governor said, “Besides being a place for the convergence of contemporary art, the KMB is a laudable attempt to sustain the peaceful co-existence that has always marked Kerala society and culture.”

Artist P K Sadanandan Master explaining his mural work 'Parayi Petta Panthiru Kulam' to President Pranab Mukkherjee at Aspinwall House.  Minister for Tourism Kadakampally Surendran, Kochi Corporation Mayor Saumini Jain and Kochi Biennale 2016 curator Sudarshan Shetty are seen along.
Artist P K Sadanandan Master explaining his mural work 'Parayi Petta Panthiru Kulam' to President Pranab Mukkherjee at Aspinwall House.  Minister for Tourism Kadakampally Surendran, Kochi Corporation Mayor Saumini Jain and Kochi Biennale 2016 curator Sudarshan Shetty are seen along.
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.

President Pranab Mukherjee watching Indian artist Gauri Gill's photo exhibition 'Traces' at Aspinwall House during his visit to Kochi Biennale. Kerala Governor Chief Justice (Retd) Shri  P Sathasivam , Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, former Minister M A Baby and  Kochi Biennale 2016 curator Sudarshan Shetty are seen along.
President Pranab Mukherjee watching Indian artist Gauri Gill's photo exhibition 'Traces' at Aspinwall House during his visit to Kochi Biennale. Kerala Governor Chief Justice (Retd) Shri  P Sathasivam , Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, former Minister M A Baby and  Kochi Biennale 2016 curator Sudarshan Shetty are seen along.
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’.

 President Pranab Mukherjee, Kerala Governor Chief Justice (Retd) Shri  P Sathasivam , Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan and Minister for Tourism Shri Kadakampally Surendran spending time on American artist Camille Norment's work 'Prime' at Kochi Biennale.
 President Pranab Mukherjee, Kerala Governor Chief Justice (Retd) Shri  P Sathasivam , Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan and Minister for Tourism Shri Kadakampally Surendran spending time on American artist Camille Norment's work 'Prime' at Kochi Biennale.
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.



Pranab Mukherjee makes first-ever Presidential visit to Biennale Pranab Mukherjee makes first-ever Presidential visit to Biennale Reviewed by Welcome Kerala on 09:09:00 Rating: 5

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