The aisle leading to the much-acclaimed exhibits of the 47-year-old Shanghai-based painter at Aspinwall House in Fort Kochi will now beam with a collage of 1,000-odd postcards bearing the stamp of imagination of the upper-primary and high school students of the city hosting the three-month art festival.
The paintings etched on postcards are the result of the two-month-old project involving 23 schools in West Kochi and Ernakulam. Initiated in November 2012 as part of the biennale’s
Educational Outreach Programme, it is aimed to encourage the artistic bend of the new generation and facilitate them to be part of the country’s first biennale.
A chunk of the images on the postcards relates to scenic spots, popular cartoon characters on television, flowers and fauna.
Running high on imagination, all of them come in small sizes, a pleasant contrast to the massive works on display.
The first step towards accomplishing the task began in November when the organisers sent the post-cards to select schools, said Mary Priscilla Paul, who heads the outreach project.
“It was meant for students, from class VII and above. They were free to sketch and colour any image they wished,” she said.
Thus, Mary’s colleague, artist Kajal Charankattu and her team visited 23 schools which the Kochi Biennale Foundation had short-listed for the programme and gave the students a 45-minute power-point presentation.
“We subsequently entrusted each school with a set of biennale post-cards,” said Kajal.Artist Riyas Komu, who is a co-curator of the biennale, is happy about the success of the scheme.
“Our state has many children who have a talent for painting. Only that most of them are not lucky enough to get groomed. We thought that we should give them a chance - but without feeding them with preconceived notions,” he said.