Kochi: The Kochi-Muziris Biennale has been evolving over the past six years since the debut show, with the ongoing edition getting richer with sounds as much as the sights, according to renowned filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan.

“This time, the biennale appeals not just to the eyes but also to the ears,” said the septuagenarian, a pioneer of the new-wave cinema movement in his native Kerala. “I am surprised by the addition of sound art.”

A winner of the country’s prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award for cinema, the 77-year-old director took a round of Fort Kochi’s main Aspinwall House venue of the biennale.  “I have been religiously following every edition of the biennale since its first edition (in 2012). This festival has been instrumental in revealing the newest trend in global art before us,” added the Padma Vibhushan awardee who lives in Thiruvananthapuram.

Noting that the biennale had “something new” to offer every time, Gopalakrishnan noted that this time the 108-day event has a “big range” of video installations.

Malayalam filmmaker Shaji N Karun, too, visited the biennale. “What is best about the Biennale” he said on Sunday, “is that as it grows with each edition, it creates more awareness about art among a large mass.”

“Sensitivity chisels an individual’s soul. Aesthetics is the best tool you can find to make people more sensitive to the world around,” added the sexagenarian Padma Shri winner, who has won several national and international awards for both direction and cinematography.

Alexandre Ziegler, French ambassador to India, applauded the ongoing biennale, hailing the diversity in its selection of artworks. “The gender diversity, geographical vastness and the range in the medium of the works are commendable. The selections are strong and powerful; each of them conveys a message,” he said at the sprawling Aspinwall House.

The biennale reflects on issues across the world such as gender rights, colonialism and the use and impact of technology, he added

The Music of Muziris programme of the biennale at the Pavilion made the weekend even more memorable as the audience at the venue were put into a trance on Saturday by the Abhangs of Shruti Vishwanath. Abhangs are spiritual poetry from western India dedicated to Lord Vittala.

By Manoj

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