Chennai Biennial

Confluence: celebrating the 50th anniversary of Indo-Korean relations.

Chennai Biennial 2024

The Chennai Biennial is a series of curated, bi-annual exhibitions presented in Chennai, India, that aims to showcase the range and variety of contemporary paintings from Korea. The 2024 edition, titled Confluence, is the fifth in the series and includes a curated section of contemporary Indian paintings as well. The fifth edition of the Chennai Biennial presents a focused collection of 50 contemporary artworks from Korea and India. Two separate works by the 25 Korean and 25 Indian artists selected, were also showcased at exhibitions in Jeju Island and at The Busan International Art Fair in Korea in December 2023. The exhibitions in Jeju. Busan and Chennai, collectively celebrate the 50th anniversary of Indo-Korean relations and the importance of this vital, ongoing intercultural dialogue.

InKo Centre and K-Art International Exchange Association, are delighted to invite you to the inauguration of the fifth edition of the Chennai Biennial on Friday, 15 March 2024 at 6.30 p.m. at Lalit Kala Akademi, Chennai.


From India

Aishwaryan K
Alamu Kumaresen
Aneesh Kalode Rajan
Apurva Desai
Arvind Sundararajan
Avinash Karan
Devidas Agase
Feroz Khan
Jitendra Saini
Kanu Priya
Kavitha Prasad
Magesh Ramachandran
Manisha Patil
Manisha Raju
Pooja S I
Pravin Kannanur
Preeti Potdar Jain
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Sindhu Divakaran
Sonam Sikarwar
P Suresh Kumar
Vasuki Lakshmi Narayanan
Vidya Sundar

From Korea

Ahn Jinhee
Baek Sungwon
Choi Sungwon
Chung Kyungyoung
Ha Sa-an
Jang Jiwon
Jang Suik
Jun Youngkee
Jung Kwanho
Jung Youngmo
Kang Booun
Kim Bokshin
Kwon Hyuk
Kwon Jooahn
Lee Gahee
Lee Heedon
Lee Jaesun
Lee Jisun
Lee Jonggab
Lee Songjoon
Lee Youngsoo
Son Ilsam
Song Hyeopju
Song Yujin
Yu Jingoo

Curated by:

Dr. Ashrafi S. Bhagat. Ph.D. (India)
Mr. Kim Injun (Korea)

Curatorial note:

Dr. Ashrafi S. Bhagat (India):

India is a nation of rich repository of heritage with innumerable cultural traditions that continues to be celebrated and remains popular even today. It is not surprising therefore to find artists much inspired and influenced by their cultural and social environment drawing out threads of inspiration to weave their creative imagination into a rich tapestry; premised on their perceptual experiences and filtered to recreate works of art that are as diverse as distinct and different. There is a thread of enchanting diversity running through their works that clearly establishes their perceptual ode. This is the evocative poignancy of the Indian modernity as deconstructed by the constellation of twenty five artists represented in this show titled “A Perceptual Ode”. It is a tribute to the receptivity and stimulation of the experiences received from their environment and then deduce their imagery from it, which gets metamorphosed or transformed to become a metaphor or symbol of their artistic and philosophic journey.

The participating artists inhabit the geographical spaces of various cities, who with their philosophy of mind and phenomenology of imagination have allowed the visibility of their engagement with artistic vocabulary and visual language contextualized from within their own local culture. In an attempt to map this process, it was a moment of discovery to discern myriad forms, images and shapes in the use of vocabulary, premised on their perception and the visual language which was both realistic and abstract with myriad shades in-between of subtleties in its usage between hyper realism and absolute abstraction.

The artists have worked in different medium, materials, technique and subject matter. While acrylics ad mixed media is favoured by most of the artist in the group, others have engaged with water colours, pen and ink, textiles, yarns, threads, embroidery, articulating through diverse technique that is in correspondence with their ideas and subject. The thematic content is as varied as the stars in the infinite universe, allowing the artists to find holistic expression of their subjectivity, reflexivity and sentiments. The conceptual content is myriad, interesting and dynamic ranging from landscapes, urbanscapes, calligraphic human forms, folk and tribal culture, environmental concerns, social issues, satirical humour on urban individual to numerous aspects of nature finds an intentional space for expressive artistic statements. Artists as Arvind and Pravin’s subject foreground scientific concepts of geometry and mathematics, which are perceptually decoded to suit their artistic intent.

Compositionally, the works display binaries ranging between intimate and universal, pragmatic to philosophical, simple to complex, direct to metaphorical. The visual aesthetics will evoke and provoke in the viewer, who as a flaneur in the artistic world will be drawn to the artists’ vocabulary and the visual language, in critically appreciating the multiplicity of forms, images and shapes that is as lively as it is kinetic with its play of chiaroscuro, textures space, linearity and colours thus weaving a tapestry of Indian culture. Among the elements that will make this exhibition distinct would be the kaleidoscopic colours that are tropical in character, with its brightness, vividness, luminosity, vibrancy, radiance and luster making it equivalent to the Indian sun and the character of its people and culture. It nevertheless will prove to be an engaging exhibition, sensual and intellectual, satisfying and serious, which will open space with the viewers to make it a pleasurable experience.

The artists within this group who have been selected from different parts of the country have engaged with different visual language to express their thoughts, concepts, feelings and sentiments. The artistic statements convey fluidly and with clarity the empirical experiences in an evocative manner. There is an understanding of the plurality of languages and medium that the artists have straddled, appropriated and assimilated. The art statements thus established were consequent to a methodology of layering creating a palimpsest which then traps memory that translates to time and space. In this manner the semantics of their concepts, narratives and local histories gets translated.

Dr. Ashrafi S. Bhagat
M.A., M.Phil, Ph.D.
Art Historian, Art Critic and Independent Curator
Former Head and Associate Professor
Department of Fine Arts
Stella Maris College [Autonomous], Chennai.

Mr. Kim Injun (Korea):

The Korean artists who are invited to the 5th Chennai Biennial, display various aesthetic expressions of their intuition toward art and philosophical considerations faced with the realistic phenomena around them.

Each of their works is filled with pure emotion and spirit for art and a unique variety that clearly reflects their individuality. This is even more distinctive because when selecting the 25 artists, we already aimed to be modern and futuristic.

While selecting 25 artists from Korea, I thought it would be a good opportunity to show the artists' diverse personalities. They have already interpreted and expressed their works in various ways through their philosophy of life, consideration of phenomena and the world of ideals and imagination. Their approach, in terms of artistic vocabulary and visual intuition for realistic expression, take these artists to a different level. As a result, subtleties that are difficult to explain, acceptance of granular spaces and unique expressions endlessly exist onthe canvas.

Meanwhile, considering that Korea and India share and study each other's art and pursue progressive cultural improvement through art exchanges, it is very important to be able to share works that display various points of view.

I believe that the emotion and sometimes, surprise felt by many viewers, artists, and critics while encountering various similar and dissimilar works will act as another distinct talking point in this vital intercultural dialogue.

Mr. Kim Injun
Artist of Western painting & Critic.
1st ~ 3rd NAAF(Japan) - Exhibition Director
1st ~ 18th Busan International Art Fair - Exhibition Director
1st Mumbai Biennale - Exhibition Director
1st ~ 4th Chennai Biennale - Exhibition Director

The exhibition will open at Lalit Kala Akademi, Chennai on Friday, 15 March 2024 at 6.30 p.m.