The Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF), which runs the largest exhibition of contemporary art in the country on the shores of the Arabian Sea in Kochi every two years, signed Adeeb Ahamed of the Lulu Financial Group as a ‘platinum patron’ at an event in the city on Friday. Ahamed, the managing director of the Abu Dhabi-headquartered company, committed Rs 1 crore to the fourth edition of the exhibition this year.
“Kochi Biennale is not just about art and artists. It is a commitment towards bridging art and society and making artistic exhibitions more accessible, easier to understand, and closer to the community over the years. The installations and works showcased by the Foundation have become important points of reference in a dialogue among artists and peers all over the world,” said Ahamed at the event.
The fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, curated by Anita Dube and spread across 12 venues, will kickstart on December 12 this year, running over three months to conclude on March 29, 2019. Dube, whose works have been showcased at several international exhibitions and biennales, has finalized the list of the participating artists for this year’s event.
The contribution of Ahamed, a Malayali NRI businessman and son-in-law of LuLu Group chairman Yusuff Ali MA, would provide a robust impetus to the ‘sustenance and flourishing’ of the Biennale, said Bose Krishnamachari, KBF president.
“We are very happy that young people like Adeeb understand the soft power of art and culture,” said Krishnamachari at the event at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Kochi.
The Biennale, visited by over 6 lakh people in its third edition in 2016-17, has managed to prove itself as one of India’s critically-acclaimed art exhibitions with its nuanced and powerful installations. It also becomes a natural melting point for artists and art lovers from across the world, highighting the aesthetic, old-school charm of western Kochi and its tourist potential.