‘Institutions must carry forward the vision of Shantiniketan’

Bose Krishnamachari, painter, curator, and co-founder of Kochi-Muziris Biennale was speaking at the Avani exhibition held at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath

Published - January 23, 2024 09:00 am IST - Bengaluru

Artist Bose Krishnamachari in conversation with architect Ravindra Kumar at the Avani Exhibition.

Artist Bose Krishnamachari in conversation with architect Ravindra Kumar at the Avani Exhibition.

To make great art and to imbibe knowledge, it is important for an artist to spend time with not just artists, but also with musicians, theatre artists, film makers, writers and so on, said Bose Krishnamachari, painter, curator, and co-founder of Kochi-Muziris Biennale. Krishnamachari was speaking at the Avani exhibition organised by Kerala-based Avani Design Institute. Part of a travelling exhibition the event was held at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath and featured the work of several students. 

Speaking to the audience, Mr. Krishnamachari reminisced how, growing up in a small village Kerala, he used to do theatre at home with neighbours, friends and artists.  

Bose Krishnamachari,Co-founder and President of Kochi Muziris Biennale watching the Avani exhibition at Chitrakala Parishath here on Sunday. Architect Tony Joseph, Principal and Chairman, Avani Institute of Design is also seen.

Bose Krishnamachari,Co-founder and President of Kochi Muziris Biennale watching the Avani exhibition at Chitrakala Parishath here on Sunday. Architect Tony Joseph, Principal and Chairman, Avani Institute of Design is also seen.

“I used to see fantastic artists in my village. But they never got their opportunity because nobody was there to guide them. Fortunately, I could spend a lot of time later with not just artists or art makers, but musicians, theatre people, film makers, writers... I was fortunate to meet some brilliant minds in architecture,” he said. 

He noted that while it was the responsibility of the students to find their own path, the educator should show not just show their own work, but team them to look at others as well. 

“Self realisation is an important aspect in art, but it’s important to know self as well as others,” said Krishnamachari, citing the example of Shanti Niketan, which he noted was a great example of this vision. 

“We should continue that vision. There should be cafeterias under trees, Schools should be open spaces. Every school should be art schools,” he said citing British artist Bob and Roberta Smith. 

From Avani Exhibition at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath.

From Avani Exhibition at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath.

Technology in art 

Ravindra Kumar, principal architect at Pragrup Architects and Bangalore director – Design at Venkataramanan Associated, moderated the session. Kumar broughup the topic of technology in art. 

“As I visited the Dubai Arts festival in the last two years, I was intrigued to see the dominance of technology. In art and architecture, it is growing to a space which is very alien to interpretation,” he said. 

Krishnamachari responded by saying that it is important to have collaborations between scientists, technologists, architects and artists. 

An installation at the Avani Exhibition.

An installation at the Avani Exhibition.

“You see quite a lot of technology in contemporary art. When photography was invented, a French painter said that painting was dead. Nothing is dying in this world. It is only transforming. It’s a transformative time. You have to invent new philosophies accordingly,” he said. 

“We are all working for a better world – whether you are an architect or a designer or an artist; A better world, not only for yourself but for others well. So, scientists, technologists, architects and artists should come together and make things. If we look at the history of art, there used to be clubs where people would come together and talk about the philosophy of dadaism or surrealism which originated in such conversations,” he added. 

Krishnamachari also noted that the course of making art should be unpredictable. Citing Picasso, he said that if you know what you are going to make, then there is no point in making it. 

“Great art or music or architecture is unpredictable. How you invent it should be like ‘eureka.’ Everyday you should get that kind of enlightenment,” he said.

Mobile exhibition

The three-day exhibition saw participation from budding architects who showcased their architectural designs, drawings, sketches, 3D models, illustrations, installations, short films, creative posters, calligraphy, and origami figures.

An installation at the Avani Exhibition.

An installation at the Avani Exhibition.

Inaugurated by Architect Sanjay Mohe, the exhibition was hosted by 200 students of the Bachelor of Architecture and 40 teachers at Avani institute.

Architect Tony Joseph, Principal and Chairman, Avani Institute of Design, presided over the function. Prof. Roger Connah delivered the keynote address. Architects Aparna Narasimhan, Akshay Heranjal, George Seemon and Ishita Shah also spoke during the event.

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