The cultural calendar of the country is getting yet another big event as the first India Art, Architecture & Design Biennale (IAADB) 2023 is set to launch on Friday. Spearheaded by the Ministry of Culture, the event will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Delhi’s historic Red Fort. 

So far, the nation has seen the Kochi-Muziris Biennale held in Kerala since 2012, and the Bihar Museum Biennale which started in 2021 in Patna. Now, the Central government is flexing its cultural muscle, entering the global Biennale landscape with the IAADB in the national Capital. “The Ministry aspires to position IAADB as a flagship global cultural event, aligning it with distinguished initiatives in Venice, Sao Paulo and Dubai,” it said.

social media

As part of the preparations, the Ministry extended an open call on social media for artists and curators to submit their work. The response was substantial, with 560 queries and 260 submissions. From these, 150 entries were chosen to be showcased at the event. The inclusivity extends to a parallel Student Biennale named Samunnati, set to take place from December 9 at Lalit Kala Akademi, offering a platform for emerging talent.

The Red Fort will not only host IAADB but will also witness the inauguration of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Centre for Design and the Student Biennale, Samunnati. The Ministry envisions IAADB as a recurring and progressively larger cultural phenomenon, occurring biennially.

IAADB will feature pavilions focusing on art, architecture, and design, along with panel discussions, art workshops, art bazaars, and heritage walks. The seven-day event that will go on till December 15 will be organised around daily themes such as Doors of India, Gardens of India, Baolis of India, Temples of India, Architectural Wonders of Independent India and Celebrating Women in Architecture.

Curators roped in

Seven curators have been roped in to give shape to the physical and digital exhibitions, interactive installations, sessions and panel discussions. Each exhibition will be accompanied by expertly curated catalogues, and a comprehensive coffee table book will document the entire event.

Aditya Arya, Director and Trustee at IPAF and one of the curators, emphasised the inclusive nature of hosting such an event at the Red Fort. The historic site attracts thousands of visitors weekly, providing an unparalleled opportunity for people from diverse backgrounds to engage with art, photography and architecture.