Kochi: The Kochi-Muziris Biennale ushered in the New Year in a sombre way with painting of a disturbing picture that symbolised the episode of brutal rape and torture of a 23-year-old woman, culminating in her death last week.
Artist Bose Krishnamachari, a co-curator at the biennale, said the function was organised to send the message that a shocking event of the year that passed by must not be forgotten.
Aspinwall House, the main venue of the three-month-long event, saw the completion of a fresco featuring a naked newborn girl bearing marks of extreme cruelty all over her body.
The infant`s open-mouthed scream is not portrayed as the natural cry of a child that has just come out of its mother`s womb, but is suggestive of the darkness that she sees in her first stare at today`s insecure and monstrous world, according to P.S. Jalaja, who did the work.
"We salute the courage of the woman who fought till her last breath," said the artist, who completed the painting in two days.
In a makeshift tomb erected close to the work, a gathering of artists and visitors paid homage to the 23-year-old paramedical student who died early Dec 29. Some offered red flowers, while other lit candles.
Co-curator Riyas Komu, wished the painting would stand as a token of protest against the violence in society.
The biennale has been billed as the largest and most sophisticated international art festival showcasing artworks since 1895. It is being held in India for the first time.
The three-month long art show that began on Dec 12 will see 88 artists from over 35 countries, including 40 from India, exhibiting artworks created from a variety of media.