The most awaited event in this year’s cultural calendar of Bihar is here. Brace yourself for an artistic extravaganza as the Bihar Museum Biennale 2023 titled Connecting People, Connecting Cultures and Interrogating Museums, gears up to captivate visitors from near and far. Anticipation is running high for the event's second edition after a pandemic-induced postponement in 2021. A beacon of culture and creativity, the Bihar Museum in Patna has already unveiled two mesmerizing photography exhibitions, Brasilia 60 + and the Construction of Modern Brazil and Nature Strikes Back, providing a tantalizing glimpse into the grandeur of Brazil's architectural heritage and the tenacious allure of nature.
The first exhibit, Brasilia 60 + and the Construction of Modern Brazil transports visitors on an architectural odyssey through the marvels of Brazil's purpose-built capital city, Brasilia. With more than 90 awe-inspiring photographs and 10 intricate miniature models, the exhibition perfectly encapsulates the passion behind the city's urban planning diversity. A testament to the audacious spirit of the mid-20th century, Brasilia's construction remains a bold feat in urban planning and architecture.
Leticia Marranghello, Second Secretary, Embassy of Brazil to AD India
The city, a symphony of contemporary design and meticulous organization, was brought to life between 1956 and 1960. A tribute to the visionaries, Brasilia 60 + pays homage to architects Oscar Niemeyer and Lucio Costa, garden designer Roberto Burle Marx, and President Juscelino Kubitschek, as well as the unsung heroes - thousands of Brazilian laborers who turned the dream into a reality.
Leonardo Finotti, Cristiano Mascaro, and Nelson Kon, the virtuoso photographers behind the lens, eloquently capture the essence of Brasilia's iconic buildings. The ethereal Three Powers Square, the regal Alvorada Palace, the stately Planalto Palace, and the mesmerizing Cathedral of Brasilia - all designed by Oscar Niemeyer, stand as a testament to human ingenuity. Through their art, the photographers allow us to glimpse the era-defining architectural ideas that shape Brasilia's urban landscape.
Nature Strikes Back, the second exhibit, delves into a poignant exploration of nature's resilience in the face of urban expansion. Emmanuel Lenain, the Ambassador of France to India and an amateur photographer, exhibits haunting black-and-white images that poignantly chronicle the effects of time on forgotten urban spaces. With an insightful lens, Lenain unveils the silent struggle between man-made infrastructure and nature's tenacity.
"In the classical European paintings, landscapes thrived with human presence," says Lenain to AD India. His perspective underwent a transformative shift in India. He saw in our country how man, animals, trees, and even pipelines and discarded books exist harmoniously. But in urban centers, nature is often suppressed, peeking through windows and glass fronts, akin to animals in a zoo. Lenain's photography endeavors to convey this poignant duality.
Curator Dr. Alka Pande promises that the Bihar Museum Biennale 2023 is poised to be a pinnacle of cultural excellence. With enthusiastic participation from four Indian museums and nine international events representing Brazil, France, Nepal, Costa Rica, Israel, the US, Russia, Italy, and Thailand, the biennale is set to captivate art enthusiasts worldwide. A parallel celebration, Together We Art, will showcase a captivating exhibition from G20 countries. The Biennale will also feature twenty of the most talented Indian artists such as Raghu Rai, Subhodh Gupta, G.R. Iranna, Jayashree Chakravarty, and others. The idea behind this year’s Biennale is to not only create an international and national confluence of culture but also to re-think museum spaces and how they function as a “laboratory that generates knowledge systems”, as Museum Director General Anjani Kumar puts it.
Designed by the illustrious Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, the Bihar Museum exudes an air of elegance and simplicity, perfectly befitting the biennale's grandeur. Anjani Kumar Singh notes that the museum has become a catalyst for Bihar's growing reputation as a haven of museums. The state's storied past finds a glorious home in this cultural beacon, drawing curious locals and cultural tourists alike.
Mark your calendars for August 7 and immerse yourself in a world of visual wonders that promises to be a defining Biennale in Bihar’s cultural landscape.
To know more about the Biennale, click here.
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