Curator-led Workshops, Students’ Biennale 2016

Organized by Kochi Biennale Foundation in collaboration with Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) and Foundation for Indian Art Education (FIAE)

June – October 2016 | Arts Institutions across India


The Students’ Biennale, part of the Kochi Biennale Foundation’s educational initiatives, seeks to extend and strengthen art educational practices and infrastructure in India. The Students’ Biennale is an alternative platform for BFA and MFA students of art colleges in India to produce and exhibit work, and for developing a professional pool of curators. The intention is to expose graduate and postgraduate art students as well as young curators to the processes of contemporary art-making and exhibition-making.


The project was led by 15 young curators, who worked with art-school students from across India. The curators were trained by an advisory and mentors’ group towards a Students’ Biennale exhibition that ran parallel to the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016. The first edition of the Students’ Biennale exhibited works by students from 37 art institutions and ran for the duration of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014 at two sites in Mattancheri.


As part of their ongoing research, many of the curators in the Students’ Biennale team scheduled workshops with students in different art colleges between June and October 2016. The workshops emerged organically from the research the curators had been conducting at various art institutions across the country as an extension of their curatorial strategy. The workshops were seen as platforms to galvanise interactions and collaborative modes of art-making, in some cases bringing together students from different art colleges. Working with resource people, and a network of local artists, teachers and alumni, the workshops generated collective deliberations on extended art practices, working with local resources and constraints, shifts in mediums in contemporary art and engagement with the public, among other things.


The Workshops

  1. ‘A Site-Specific Dialogue in Transition’
    Curator: Noman Ammouri
    15–21 August 2016, Department of Fine Arts, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam
    Participants: Students from Visakhapatnam and Santiniketan
    Resource person: Sanchayan Ghosh


  1. ‘Exploring Ideas through the Moving Image’

Curator: Faiza Hasan

11-14 July 2016, College of Fine Arts, JNA and FAU, Hyderabad

Resource person: Amshu Chukki


  1. ‘A School Is Not a School: The Class Photograph’

Curator: Rajyashri Goody

10-17 August 2016, Department of Fine Arts, Aurangabad University

Resource Persons: Noopur Desai (Art researcher and critic, Pune), Jogdand Nandkumar (Artist, Aurangabad Art School Alumnus), Nandkishor Saindane (Artist and lecturer, Aurangabad Art School Alumnus)


(ii) ‘A School Is Not a School; An exploration of Community Art Practice as Contemporary’

Curator: Rajyashri Goody

25-31 August 2016, Government Chitrakala Mahavidyalaya, Nagpur and at the village of Paradsingha

Resource Persons: Shweta Bhattad and Lalit Vikamshi


  1. ‘Workshop on Colonial Photography and Learning Cyanotype’

Curator: C P Krishnapriya

13 September 2016, Govt. College of Fine Arts, Chennai

Resource Person: P.A. Madhavan

Participants: 9 students from Chennai


(ii) Performance workshop

Curator: C P Krishnapriya

27 – 28 September 2016, Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai and Kumbakonam

Resource Person: Kalieaswari Srinivasan

Participants: 24 students from Chennai and Kumbakonam


  1. Workshops on translation with emphasis on forming a working group of students from Jamia and AUD

Curator: Aryakrishnan Ramakrishnan

11-12 June; 2-3 July; 12 and 19 September; 16-18 September, Ambedkar University, Asia Art Archive and Jamia Milia Islamia

Resource Persons: Lokesh Khodke, Vivek Moktan, Aryakrishnan Ramakrishnan

Participants: 30 students from Delhi


  1. ‘Body and Poetry | Video and Performance Workshops’

Curator: Sarojini Lewis

18 – 31 September, 2016, Imphal and Shillong

Resource Persons: Surjit Nongemeikappam, Trebor Mawhlong and Sarojini Lewis


  1. ‘Performativity and Collaboration’

Curator: Ajit Kumar

18 – 21 September 2016, College of Art and Craft, Patna

Resource Person: Samudra Kajal Saikia

Participants: 25 students from Patna


  1. ‘Practice in Transitional Space’

Curator: Shruti Ramalingiah

1 – 31 August 2016 and 4 – 7 October 2016, Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai

Advisors: Amrita Gupta Singh and Sudhir Patwardhan

Participants: 7 students from Mumbai


  1. Public Performance Art

Curator: Vivek Chockalingam

26-28 October 2016, College of Fine Arts, Thrissur and Raja Ravi Varma College of Fine Arts, Mavelikara

Resource Persons: Avril Stormy Unger and Josephine Simone

Participants: 12 students from Thrissur and Mavelikara


  1. Urban Content vs Urban Material: Institution and the City Workshops

Curator: Naveen Mahantesh

July – October 2016, Mahalasa School of Art, Mangalore College of Art; Tumkur College of Art, Chandigarh; School of Environment and Architecture, Mumbai



The Kochi Biennale Foundation

The Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) is a non-profit charitable trust engaged in promoting art and culture and educational activities in India, primary amongst them the hosting of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. KBF works round the year to strengthen contemporary art infrastructure and to broaden public access to art across India.


Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA)

The Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) is a non-profit organization that aims to broaden the audience for contemporary Indian art, enhance opportunities for artists, and establish a continuous dialogue between the arts and the public through education and active participation in public art projects and funding.


Foundation for Indian Art and Education (FIAE)

The Foundation for Indian Art and Education (FIAE) is a registered, non-profit foundation established in Goa, dedicated to support visual art and education in India. FIAE’s vision is to create a forum of experienced voices for art education, art appreciation and pedagogy in India. It wishes to address critical issues concerning teaching methodology, content and contemporary art practice.