Nation Current Affairs 13 Feb 2019 Shanghai Biennale ga ...

Shanghai Biennale gave me fame, says Vinu VV

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Feb 13, 2019, 2:00 am IST
Updated Feb 13, 2019, 2:00 am IST
Sculptor in conversation with poet-painter M.R. Renukumar at IHWF.
Picture sourced from internet
 Picture sourced from internet

Kochi: For all the eloquent sculptures he has displayed all over India, Vinu V.V. believes that it was the critical acclaim that he got from an exhibition abroad five years ago that gave him widespread recognition in his own country.

“If my work was not featured in the 2014 Shanghai Biennale, I would still not be known in my homeland,” according to the Kochi-born artist.

 

At a Baithak organised by Sahapedia, as part of the ongoing India Heritage Walk Festival (IHWF) 2019, Vinu, in conversation with poet-painter M.R. Renukumar, spoke about the aesthetic interventions his works offered with regard to the marginalised Dalit lives in Kerala. Titled ‘Shattered and Chiseled’, the baithak, an informal multi-disciplinary platform focusing on themes of heritage, was organised on February 8 at David Hall, Fort Kochi.  

Speaking at the discussion, among the many parallel events planned alongside IHWF, Vinu, 44, said Dalit expressions “shattered like a clay pot fallen over the rock” — an expression he borrowed from eminent writer C Ayyappan, as a guiding force behind the sculptor’s artwork.

 

On his part, Renukumar, whose poetry and art centers around caste in its multi-faceted form in Kerala, said the purpose of art is to not simply rebuild what is broken by piecing them together, but by democratically imagining the shattered life anew. His works include translation of a visual biography of B. R. Ambedkar, apart from a few poetry collections. He is also the editor of the volume ‘Don’t Want Caste: Malayalam Stories by Dalit Writers’.    

Renukumar opined that Vinu’s works marked and reframed episodes of subaltern resistance in the history of modern Kerala as part of the intellectual as well as aesthetic journeys the artist constantly undertook. Vinu, an alumnus of RLV College of Music and Fine Arts College in Tripunithura, rose to fame in India after his sculpture ‘Noon rest’ was selected for an exhibition at the Shanghai Biennale 2014. The installation showcased a tree trunk, onto which several sickles were firmly stuck. It was later chosen to be put on permanent display in the Chinese metropolis.

 

According to the artist, this sight was quite common in his childhood during the lunch breaks the labourers, including his parents, took from their work in paddy-fields. In this respect, the installation is a gesture towards the myriad possibilities of dialogue, discussion and camaraderie that the brief resting times offered them.

The artist, who uses a lot of everyday objects in his work, is currently being showcased at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018, which is running from December 12, 2018 to March 29, 2019.

The second edition of IHWF, organised in collaboration with UNESCO, features a number of interesting events in Kochi, including heritage walks in Fort Kochi, Mattancherry and Ernakulam.

 

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