Renowned journalist Anita Pratap described the Kochi-Muziris Biennale as a world-class event that conveys political, social and environmental messages of great relevance to India today.
“I am amazed by the quality of the exhibition. It is truly of international standard,” said Pratap who visited the Aspinwall House venue on Tuesday with her husband Arne Walther, Norway’s Ambassador to Japan.
The award-winning journalist and filmmaker, who divides her time between India and Japan, said she found that the exhibits in Kochi compare with the best at the most prestigious art events in Tokyo.
“What I liked best about it is that it combines artistic merit with a love of history and has the ability to communicate in a way that ordinary people can understand and appreciate,” she said.
She said Kochi is a jewel with a history that goes back over 2000 years and with links to Muziris that used to be an important trading partner with ancient Rome.
“Muziris may have been wiped out, but it doesn’t mean it ceased to exist. [The Biennale] is a wonderful effort by a group of people to resurrect that heritage and it deserves every support.”
Actress Manju Warrier, who was also among the visitors to the Biennale on Tuesday, said the artworks were simple, accessible and socially relevant. “I was worried I wouldn’t understand contemporary art since it is far removed from the medium that I am involved in. But I know now that its message is universal and can be understood by anyone.”
She said she was amazed to see items of daily use and things we throw out as junk transformed into beautiful artworks.
“I’m also pleased to see people of all ages come here to see the exhibition. This is great for Kochi.”