This Bihar Divas (March 22, 2021), the Department of Arts, Culture and Youth Affairs, Government of Bihar decided to inaugurate India’s first-ever seven-day long Bihar Biennale, showcasing the significance of museum culture in India. 

Bihar Biennale

Physically the event will be hosted at the Bihar Museum in Patna from March 22 to March 28, which will include talks, masterclasses, and a reading room. The event can also be enjoyed online via their website. Initially conceived as a physical, three-month-long event, the Bihar Biennale will now be held as a hybrid event – physical and digital, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Bihar Biennale

“Bihar Museum is a cultural hub dedicated to the spirit of enquiry, exploration and creativity of the people of Bihar and the world. The soft power of art and culture has a special space of engagement in our development strategy for Bihar. Bihar Museum Biennale is a step forward to highlight the rich heritage of India and bring alive the extraordinary history of Bihar and also celebrate the cultural narratives from various parts of the world,” Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said in a statement released by the Museum. 

Bihar Biennale

The participating museums from India are Assam State Museum; Bihar Museum, Patna; City Palace Museum, Udaipur; Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai; Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal; Kanha Museum of Life and Art, MP; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi; Museo Camera, Gurgaon; Museum of Art & Photography, Bengaluru; Museum of Goa, Panaji; National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; Piramal Museum, Mumbai; Virasat-e-Khalsa, Anandpur Sahib

Alka Pande, project director of the Museum Biennale, said, “As an art historian, I can say that the soul of India, the heart of India in many ways is Bihar, whether it’s Pataliputra or Magadha. Bihar Museum Biennale will be an opportunity to bring out a compendium of the Indian museums, and to celebrate their respective collections, each telling its own story.”

The Biennale will also witness the participation of eminent personalities like Neil MacGregor, a British art historian who will be a keynote speaker at the event; Hilary Knight, Director of Digital, Tate Galleries, UK; Souraya Noujaim, Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management Director at Louvre Abu Dhabi; Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Director-General of CSMVS, Mumbai; Javier Baron, Museo del Prado among others, said the organisers.

All images: Courtesy Bihar Museum / Instagram