Kicked off on the magical date of 12/12/12, initially Kochi Muziris Biennale was a literal confrontation between the conservatives and the reformists in the art world. On the other hand, it also led to a fight between the state government and Biennale team over fund misappropriation.
Acclaimed artists led by sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman came out in the open against the Biennale terming it as one of the biggest scams the art world has ever seen. With pressure mounting from various corners, the state government distanced itself from Kochi Biennale. There were allegations that local artists were kept away from the festival.
Initially, the allegations painted a dirty picture of the festival. However the Biennale foundation, headed by noted artists Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu, rubbished the allegations, stating that the attempt was to bring in a new art culture.
At the end, the Biennale team was successful in bringing in Chief Minister Oommen Chandy for launching the event.
Initial hiccups apart, the Biennale indeed brought in a new art culture in the state. The festival showcased the creative brilliance of about 80 artists from across the globe. Clearing a string of hurdles and criticisms the art festival attracted many visitors. In the first month itself the Biennale had a total of close to 1.5 lakh visitors.
Adding to the charm, the festival had many celebrities, both from India and abroad, visiting on a regular basis. The film festivals and heritage seminars organised as part of the festival attracted a lot of people. With two days for the festival to end, art-lovers are making a beeline for the spectacle.