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International curators, visitors praise Kochi Biennale

International curators, visitors praise Kochi Biennale

Kochi: The democratic nature of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) and the sense of ownership felt by the local community continue to come in for special praise by visiting international curators and art directors, organisers said here Tuesday.

"The purpose of art is to educate people and this is being followed through by the Biennale. The close interaction between artists and the public is very powerful and contributes to the feeling of engagement.

"The ease of access to the art here for the layperson is one of the highlights," Dr Madhuvanti Ghose, Associate Curator of Indian, Southeast Asian, Himalayan, and Islamic Art, at The Art Institute of Chicago, said.

Ghose said she was "overwhelmed" to find Aspinwall House, the main venue for KMB 2016, buzzing with people yesterday large crowds and families with children have been a regular sight over the ongoing series of free-entry Mondays, a KMB release said.

Curator Yasufumi Nakamori, who heads the Department of Photography and New Media at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, said he felt a "connect" between the local audience to the works during his visit on Monday.

This was because the Biennale exhibited strong works, he said.

"Most of the artworks are very refreshing, creative, provocative and critical. They have not being chosen blindly from other biennales. I especially liked Gauri Gill's photographs, Zuleika Chaudari s installation and Yuko Mohri s work," Nakamori said.

Earlier, Adeline Ooi, Asia Director for Art Basel an international art fair with four annual shows across the world, had made her second visit to the Biennale.

South Asia's biggest art celebration was "moving from strength to strength" in part due to the visible and vocal support of the local community, she said.

"The sense of solidarity, integration and ownership is humbling. There is so much beauty in the Biennale's democratic nature. It is great that the entire city is involved.

It is not something that is forced on the people.

"The Biennale is very poetic and very sensitive not just to the art community, but to everyone regardless of their level of involvement," Ooi said.

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