Students' Biennale 2016

The Student’s Biennale, part of the Kochi Biennale Foundation’s educational initiatives, seeks to extend and strengthen art educational practices and infrastructure in India. The Student’s Biennale is alternative platform for BFA and MFA students from art-colleges in India to produce and exhibit work and for developing a professional pool of curators. The intention is to expose graduate and post-graduate art students as well as young curators to the processes of contemporary art-making and exhibition-making. The project will be led by 15 young curators, who will work with students at art schools around India. The curators will be trained by an advisory and mentor group towards a Student’s Biennale exhibition that will run parallel to the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016. The first edition of the Student’s Biennale exhibited works by students from 37 art institutions and ran for the duration of the 2014 Biennale at two sites in Mattancheri.


Adwait-SinghAdwait Singh

With a Masters in History and Philosophy of Art from the University of Kent and another in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths College, Adwait interlaces the understanding of analytical and continental philosophy in his writings undergirded by experience of working with organizations such as the British Museum, the Serpentine Galleries and the Courtauld Gallery in addition to independent practitioners. His work as a scholar-curator frequently weaves in and out of areas of inquiry such as subjectivity formation, the ‘animal question’, transcultural memory, space, displacement and identity, performance and performativity, gender and sexuality, post-humanism, contemporary technogenesis and ecofeminism, in the context of a variety of media. He is currently working on a revised phenomenological account of the question of sexual difference and its mediation in the technologically accelerated desire economies of the contemporary moment.

Ajit-KumarAjit Kumar

Ajit Kumar is presently pursuing his M.Phil in Visual Studies from School of Art and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He taught at Department of Fine Arts, Kurukshetra University, Haryana as an Assistant Professor in Art History and Painting after dual Post-Graduation in Arts and Aesthetics from JNU, New Delhi. He has completed BFA (at College of Art and Design, University of Burdwan, West Bengal) and MFA (at S.N. School of Arts and Communication, University of Hyderabad, Telangana) in Painting. He is the recipient of Student Achievement Awards from University of Hyderabad, India in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He has participated in workshops Keep The Canvas Rolling, Kashmir art Quest, at JNU, New Delhi, India, 2014., Site Specific installation workshop with Paula Sengupta  at University of Hyderabad, 2011, Comics workshop with Bharat Murthy, S.N. School of Arts and communication, Hyderabad University, 2010, Paper making workshop with The Zest Group, Kolkata, 2008. His art works mainly deal with issues of migration and identity. As an artist and a research scholar his interest lies in folk arts, caste and gender. 

Aryakrishnan-Ramakrishnam=n-(1)Aryakrishnan Ramakrishnan

Aryakrishnan is a researcher and artist based in New Delhi. He completed his MA in Visual Arts from School of Culture and Creative Expressions, Ambedkar University Delhi in 2014. He was a young curator for the Students Biennale of Cochin Biennale 2014. There he curated the works of students from Faculty of music and fine arts of Jammu University, and Kashmir University. Along with Juggleheads, he curated the shows ‘stutter in your eloquence ‘(2014) at BC Gallery Cochin and ‘stutter in your eloquence-II’ (2015) at Ambedkar University Delhi. Along with Karthik KG he did a proposal on Dara Shikoh Library, for ‘Reimagining the Question of Cultural Infrastructure’ at ‘Insert 2014’ curated by Raqs Media Collective. With Clive Snook, he curated ‘Flora, Fauna and spirit’ (2012) an Exhibition of indigenous art and craft practices from India at Gallery 360, Thiruvananthapuram.

As an artist he explores mixture of medium and forms from drawing to poetry and performance. He considers his art practice as closely connected to his other interests and everyday life. It takes energy from different fields, like the practices of his friend and transgender activist Sweet Maria, who was murdered at her home for her constant provocations and claims over public through her gender non-conformity. His ongoing project ‘Sweet Maria Monument’ is based on ephemeral queer archives in which he collaborates with artists and activists to re-create an imaginary archive. 


Faiza Hasan is primarily a watercolorist who frequently incorporates embroidery, fabric and found objects into her work that often culminates together into installation like displays. Her work is interested in understanding structures and ideas around socially constructed perceptions and norms, around hierarchy and violence. Nearly always, the woman is the protagonist in her work. Most recently, Hasan has been part of a month long artist exchange programme at Bordeaux Metropole, France. She has received her Bachelor’s degree in painting from JNA&FAU in 2011 with the Gold Medal for Best Outgoing Student (Painting) 2011 as well as the Pervaram Santaji Gold Medal (B.F.A Painting) 2011. Following which, she received her Master’s degree in Fine Arts (Art History) from the University of Hyderabad in 2014 with the University of Hyderabad gold medal. She was one of the curators of the Student’s Biennale at the Kochi Muziris Biennale, 2014 and a part of the Khoj Peers Residency in 2015. Her group shows include the recent ‘Blurred Gazes’ that was curated by Anja Ellenberger at Kalakriti Art Gallery, 2015 and ‘How strong the breeze, how precious the flight’ at the Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad, 2014. 

harshitaHarshita Bathwal

Harshita Bathwal pursued Science in school, nearly sat for IIT entrance test, before doing her graduation in English Honors from Delhi University. Studying Humanities was a major turning point in her life and continues to be so in ways inevitable. She completed MA in Arts and Aesthetics from JNU, during which she curated an art exhibition in the department. She is grateful for the interdisciplinarity that the MA course had to offer, which forms the basis of her understanding of art. She is currently pursuing MPhil in Visual Studies from the same department. 


C.P.Krishnapriya is a practicing visual artist based in Chennai. She completed her Masters from the Govt. College of Fine Arts, Chennai.

Her work is multidisciplinary in nature; she uses paintings, drawings, collage, found objects and sculptural installations to engage with her concerns. The works primarily deal with the self and its relationship with its environment. History and local political discourses are also woven into the imagery that she creates.

She teaches art and is interested in understanding the process of art pedagogy. Her other interests are contemporary art practices, history, theatre and environmental studies. She has been part of numerous art exhibitions and art camps. She is also part of art collectives and groups based in Chennai.

NAVEEN-MAHANTESH-2015Naveen Mahantesh

Naveen Mahantesh’s practice lies at the intersection of art, architecture and the city. He is involved in creative research with a love for urban life. His past projects includes, working with teams of artists and curators and engaging with ideas of placing art in the public realm while considering the city as a studio. His projects provide alternate perspectives for the banal routines, take inspiration from urban myths, and engage within the ecologies that the city thrives upon.

Naveen Mahantesh is the principal architect of CRESARC, a design firm based in Bangalore. His projects and propositions have been a part of Sarai-Reader-Exhibition’09 (2013) and Insert (2014), curated by Raqs media collective; Mediating Modernities (2013) at Srishti School of Design; design for change at TEDx-R.V.Vidyaniketan (2013), Bangalore; and FOA-FLUX-art|life|technology Symposium at Swissnex (2015). He received a grant from KHOJ (2013) for his collaborative project Ecologies of the excess, and as part of 080:30, he received a grant from India Foundation for the Arts – Project560 -Found space (2014) project that intimately situated art within the fabric of Bangalore City. He has been a City as Studio fellow (2013) at Sarai-CSDS., and a Visiting Faculty and critic for architectural design at design institutes in Bangalore including R.V School of Architecture and SIT, Tumkur. His recent talks include a presentation at the Washington Project for Arts; Washington DC, The department of Cultural Affairs for Arlington County (2015) and International Studio for Curatorial Practices (ISCP), New York City. He was the resident curator at ISCP , Brooklyn – New York (2015), sponsored by INLAKS.

Noman_AmmouriNoman Ammouri

Noman Ammouri is an independent curator and visual artist based in Hyderabad. He holds a Master’s degree in Art History from Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati University of Santiniketan (2013) and a Bachelor’s degree in Painting from Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture & Fine Arts University, Hyderabad (2009). He has contributed essays to art journals, catalogues, and other important academic publications. His areas of interest include curating contemporary art and culture in social context, media and literary theory, philosophy, cinema and literature. His recent curatorial projects include Reclaiming Voices (2014) and Bracket (2015) at Kalakriti Art Gallery, Hyderabad. Noman’s curatorial practice is based on notions of identity, belongingness and displacement. He is currently working on a series of exhibition focussing on Baroda and Hyderabad artists at Kalakriti Art Gallery, Hyderabad, whilst continuing his work as an artist and writer. 

Paribartana-MohantyParibartana Mohanty

Paribartana Mohanty is Delhi-based artist, works in video, performance, writing and in collaborative practice. He completed his Master in History of Art from National Museum Institute, New Delhi, 2006 and Bachelor’s degree from Dhauli College of Art and Craft, Bhubaneswar, 2004. He is the recipient of FICA Emerging Artist Award 2010 and ‘City as Studio’ Sarai-CSDS Media Lab Associate Fellowship for Contemporary Art and Media Practices. He had his first solo exhibition ‘Kino is the Name of a Forest’ in 2012 at Vadehra Art Gallery in New Delhi.  He was part of an art and science residency at KHOJ International artist Association, New Delhi. In 2014, he was selected for international creator residency, Tokyo wonder site, Japan. He also works with collectives like WALA, BMSC and Baoli Tarehd that engage with public, community building, performance, site-specific art projects, research and documentation. 

Rajyashri-GoodyRajyashri Goody

Rajyashri Goody is a visual artist and ethnographer currently living in Pune. She completed her MA in Visual Anthropology from the Granada Center for Visual Anthropology at the University of Manchester in 2013. In 2014, she was involved in a series of public art interventions through grassroots multidisciplinary arts platform The Good Artists of Pune, and was a working group member as well as participating artist for the Khoj International Artists Workshop, Pune, which was held in February 2015.

Rajyashri finds community based practice, socially engaged art, and themes of art as activism particularly engaging. Grounded in the principles of visual anthropology, her research interests span caste and class structure and interpretations of hierarchical patterns in societies, as well as connotations of identity, individualism, freedom, and security amongst youth; themes that she has been exploring both in India as well as in Taiwan during a recent artist residency at Bamboo Curtain Studio, Taipei.

Sarojini-LewisSarojini Lewis

In all of the work, regardless if it is her own visual work or a curated project, there is a fascination with history, both of the landscape, the city, the environment and its user. What would unite them, what kind of view is there, on what is it focused? Repetitive elements in her visual work are photographs of objects, people and moments that reveal forgotten situations. Objects are functioning as traces. Fragments creating narratives.

Sarojini Lewis has a fine art back ground with a specialization in photography, she is working as an artist and a curator with a specialisation in photography and fine art. In her works she combines text and image in conceptual installations and performances. Sarojini participated and showed her work in several international projects and in the Netherlands. In 2011 she received a Photography Award by Edinburgh College of Art during the MFA in Fine Art Photography.  Several works are in permanent collections such as The Tate Library Book Art Collection, The British Library and the Tropenmuseum. In 2012 she was selected for several artist residencies in Buenos Aires and Medellin. In 2013 the group exhibition Rephrasing Memory was realized in Amsterdam and Rotterdam showing 35 artist from Latin America and The Netherlands. In 2014 Fragmented Narration was the second part and a similar group exhibition shown in Sao Paulo and Medellin. In 2015 she was selected by the Goethe Institut for an artist residency in Dresden in Germany. 

Shatavisha-MustafiShatavisha Mustafi

After graduating from Jadavpur University, Kolkata in Comparative Literature, Shatavisha Mustafi moved to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi for her Masters in the School of Arts and Aesthetics. She has presented research papers in several conferences on curatorial practices and various visual and performing art forms, across India, including the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014. She co-curated an exhibition titled ‘The Missing Pavilion’ in JNU. She has worked as a research coordinator and web content developer with organisations like Artsome and Sahapedia; acted as a museum and teaching facilitator with FlowIndia; interned with India Artfair 2014; and briefly assisted Samit Das as a researcher for an exhibition. She was awarded a two-month fellowship titled ‘Researching the Contemporary’ from Center for Studies in Developing States, Delhi in the year 2015. She has received training in Fine Arts, Bharatnatyam and Kathak. She is currently based in New Delhi and is presently pursuing her M. Phil in Visual Studies on ‘Art Forgeries in Indian Art’ in JNU. 

Shruti-RamlingaiahShruti Ramlingaiah

Researcher and curator based in Mumbai. After her graduation in Painting from Sir J.J School of Art, Shruti went for post-graduation in Museology from M.S University Vadodara .She began her career as curatorial assistant at Mehrangarh Museum Trust, Jodhpur on archival and temporary exhibitions. In 2011, she went to do masters in Art History and Visual Studies at University of Hyderabad. Meanwhile she has worked at Dakshinachitra, a vernacular cross -cultural art museum in south India in 2012 and worked as Project Assistant on transliteration of manuscript at National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore in 2013. Her research extended to archival and documentation of traditional art form, hase in Karnataka organised by IGNCA Bangalore. She was awarded scholarship for her research by Lalit Kala Akademi in 2013- 14. She has worked as Deputy Curator, exhibitions at National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai from 2014-2016.

Sumitra-Sunder-(2)Sumitra Sunder

Sumitra Sunder is a researcher and PhD scholar, currently working on a doctorate in contemporary arts practice at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore. The focus points of the doctoral project are to look at the shifts towards non-monopolistic and inclusive creative as well as the impact of the neoliberal economy on Urban Arts Practice. Trained as an art historian, she has also worked in various capacities in the arts and cultural sector since graduating in 2007. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art History from the College of Fine arts in Bangalore and a Masters in Museology from the National Museum Institute in New Delhi. The responsibilities she has held range from pursuing academic research in the arts to writing and articulating her experiences in the field in the form of short articles and papers. During the years between my masters and beginning doctoral work, she gathered experience with documentation/cataloguing of art objects, art gallery management as well as writing.

Vivek-Chokalingam-(2)Vivek Chockalingam

Vivek Chockalingam is an artist/curator currently residing in Bangalore. After completing his undergraduate in product design from Srishti school of Art, Design and Technology, 2008, he started practicing art. His work began growing in physical size and hence he did an architecture course from Sci-Arc, LA, USA, 2014 (scholarship). His body of work includes public art projects, commissions, large-scale installation work and other diverse projects. The focus is mainly in producing experiential works exploring contextual scenarios. The work often emphasis on the process of creation and allows for collaborations with people from various disciplines. More recently he has been playing the role of a curator and over the last year and a half his home has organically transformed into an artist residency/gallery space – Walkin Studios. This space encourages unique process based approaches with a strong emphasis on ‘hands-on’ experimenting