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Biennale is a textbook for art students, says Minister

Staff Reporter
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Students of contemporary art can learn much from the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, said Minister for Excise and Ports K. Babu. The event is virtually a textbook for students and researchers of contemporary art, the Minister said after a visit to Aspinwall House, the main venue, said a communication from the biennale.

Mr. Babu said the biennale had helped Kerala project a new face of the State to the world.

Ritual art

“From outside, when you hear about biennale, you don’t get a clear idea of it. But all the cloud clears once you visit it,” he said.

The biennale on Friday featured a ritualistic art form usually seen in temples in the State – ‘Kalamezhuthum Pattum.’

An image of ‘nazhikakkalam’ was prepared by artist V.P. Prabhakaran of the Thiruvalla-based Terra Art Gallery using natural colours. Vocalists of Karinthalakkoottam group from Thrissur rendered folk songs during the proceedings.

The inaugural item, sung by Manarkad Sasikumar, was in memory of poet D. Vinayachandran who passed away last month. The other singers included K.M. Sasikumar, Sivadas Edakkattuvayal, V.K. Pankajashan, Janakala Sasi and Balalakshmi. P.R. Ramesan led the Karinthalakkoottam band.

Kalam sketch

A 12x12 feet ‘kalam’ sketched at the site, with 48 smaller ‘kalams’ around it — all done using powders of natural elements in white (rice), black (burnt paddy-husk), yellow (turmeric) and red (turmeric mixed with lime). On the fringes of the image were placed the nine auspicious grains (nava dhaanyam), spices and traditional scents. The ‘kalam’ was erased late in the evening.

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