The first of its kind Bihar Museum Biennale is here. Hosted at the Bihar Museum, thirteen Indian and six international museums are participating in this week-long event, starting today, 22 March. With virtual exhibition tours, a food trail, an international conference and masterclasses planned over an intensive week of the Biennale, here’s a list of things you shouldn’t miss out on:
1. The Bihar Museum Collection
The Bihar Museum itself is a world-class modern museum that celebrates the rich history and culture of the region, rooted in the land and its people. Among the museum’s collection is the world-famous Didarganj Yakshi, a 3rd Century BC sandstone statue from the Mauryan period.
2. Virtual Exhibition Tours
Among the virtual highlights are Chronicling Mewar: History through the Arts from the City Palace Museum, Udaipur, which features their recently acquired 56-foot long, 5-feet high Phad painting by the name ‘Glorious History of Mewar’.
3. Keynote Addresses And Masterclasses
The Biennale will offer insightful and engaging masterclasses focusing on a variety of subjects including restoration of art, storytelling through dance, cultural appreciation, and writing in Indian languages with a specific focus on the rich tapestry of vernacular dialects.
Some keynotes speakers to check out are: Neil MacGregor, British art historian and former Director of the National Gallery, London, and the British Museum; Sarat Maharaj, Professor of Visual Art and Knowledge Systems, Lund University/Malmo Art Academy, Sweden, and Research Professor, Goldsmiths University of London; and Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Director-General CSMVS, Mumbai and Advisor to the Bihar Museum.
4. Making Of The Bihar Museum
Leading international museum consultants Lord Cultural Resources, UK and prize-winning Japanese architectural firm Maki Associates were involved in its creation, bringing together the best from the east and the west. The film Making of the Bihar Museum will orient you to the critical moments in the building of this marvel.
5. Food Map of Bihar: Puja Sahu, Pot Belly
Puja Sahu of Pot Belly will be doing a pictograph of her journey with Bihari food. She talks about her early childhood in her Muzaffarpur home, watching her grandma cook in her rustic kitchen on a mud stove, making pickles, hand grinding wheat and using her giant mortar to grind masala.
6. Children’s Gallery
One of the exciting sections of the Museum is the specially curated Children’s Gallery featuring six experiential learning zones – the Orientation Room, Wildlife Sanctuary, History Section, the Arts and Culture section and the Discovery section. The exhibits include dramatic recreations, storytelling techniques and visual aids to encourage hands-on learning and explorations.