The FICA Patrons Programme was set up in 2016 with the aim of supporting the activities of The Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA). As a not-for-profit organisation now in its 10th year FICA is widely recognized for its commitment to supporting contemporary art practices in India through grants, education and collaborations. Our annual grants to artists, curators and researchers are given to help them develop their practices. Alongside we are also focused on developing various educational and outreach platforms relating to contemporary art for different audiences.

The first edition of FICA Patrons Programme has been very exciting – connecting the work and vision of our organisation with an inspiring and engaged group. The enthusiasm and energy of the members has been very encouraging and we are pleased to have been able provide this dynamic group with various opportunities to interact and connect with one another, and more importantly, with art, across diverse platforms.

FICA Patrons visit the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016

It was an action packed three days at Kochi (December 12 – 14, 2016) for a group of 20 FICA Patrons, and the FICA team who came together to witness the opening of the beautifully choreographed edition of Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016 curated by Sudarshan Shetty titled Forming in the pupil of the eye and to also see the amazing collateral exhibitions that opened simultaneously. We were also joined by FICA advisory board members Shilpa Gupta and Tarana Sahwney.

It was an especially proud moment for the FICA team to take the group on a walkthrough of the Students’ Biennale, an educational initiative on which FICA has partnered with the Kochi Biennale Foundation. And to share with them this ambitious exhibition platform, spread across seven venues in Mattanchery, which brings together works of art students from 55 art schools across the country.  

The opening days were about getting one on one time with many of the participating artists who spoke to us about their works! Thank you to ‘AES+F’ (Russian artist collective), István Csákány, Praneet Soi, Gauri Gill, Dia Mehta Bhupal, Chittrovanu Mazumdar and GR Iranna for your time! Riyas Komu, co-founder of KMB and Director of Programmes gave us a much needed overview on the curatorial vision of the Biennale, which was very insightful.  

We thank India Art Fair and Christie’s for the breakfast and lunch parties! We also hosted a dinner on opening night for the group and other artists and guests at the Biennale which included Kochi Biennale patron Asha Jadeja Motwani, Christie’s Chairman Stephen Lash, architect Rajiv Saini, veteran art collector Kiran Nadar, Editor of Architectural Digest Greg Foster and Christie’s International Director Amin Jaffer among others. Apart from the time spent racing through the main Biennale and Students’ Biennale venues, we had a great time visiting the impressive collateral exhibitions - Pooja Singhal’s exquisite and exhaustive exhibition of Pichvais, Gunjan Gupta’s funky experiments with the Kursi, KNMA’s impressive exhibition Pond near the field, curated by Roobina Karode, showcasing the works of five important Kerala artists, and Vivan Sundaram’s Terraoptics which takes forward his site specific installation made out of discarded Pattanam potsherds shown in the first edition of KMB 2012.