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Seychelles Biennale of Contemporary Art 2022 – July 31 to August 28 |17 August 2022

Seychelles Biennale of Contemporary Art 2022 – July 31 to August 28

Kavinash Thomoo with his National Arts and Crafts Council Award. He is flanked by the Biennale curator Martin Kennedy and the chief executive of the National Arts and Crafts Council Jimmy Savy (Photo: Joena Meme)

‘I worked on how I can make people have a dialogue with my art’ – Kavinash Thomoo


He described himself as a multidisciplinary contemporary artist who has been practicing art for the past 20 years and he said he was eager to take part in the Seychelles Biennale of Contemporary Art because he was intrigued by the theme ‘Lost and Found’.

Kavinash Thomoo is from Mauritius and his art work made him the winner of the ‘National Arts and Crafts Council Award’ in the Seychelles Biennale of Contemporary Art 2022.

In a short interview with Seychelles NATION journalist, Kavinash Thomoo talked a little about himself and his work.


Seychelles NATION: Tell us a bit about yourself and who you are as an artist.

Kavinash Thomoo: I am a multidisciplinary artist from Mauritius. I practice several techniques such as installations, video art and graphics. Normally most of the time, I let myself be driven by my concept, my idea regarding which technique is best. I have been practicing as an artist for around 20 years already back in Mauritius. I am also working as an integrator in art and design and I am also a part-time lecturer at the university. I have been to other biennales before as well such as to the Venice biennale.


Seychelles NATION: What made you want to take part in this year’s Seychelles Biennale?

Kavinash Thomoo: A biennale is quite different from other exhibitions. It is very selective and I also like the theme and the concept. I need to be able to connect with the theme first of all. If I have something to say, then I will participate. So when I heard about the theme, it did resonate to me like I really wanted to do something and to give my opinion about ‘Lost and Found’. It is quite abstract but I found it really interesting. With the post-Covid-19, my work makes even more sense. I did not change anything from the one I proposed in 2020; it is still the same thing.


Seychelles NATION: What are you trying to convey through your art work?

Kavinash Thomoo: I worked a lot on the psychological aspect on how I can make people have a kind of dialogue with my art work. It is mostly like I want the person to be already thinking, to be emotionally connected with the art work to create this kind of impact when they perceive the work. I do not provide information too quickly or too easily, so I let them go into the whole idea of trying to decode each and every thing that I am trying to convey to them. I do not try to provide them with the exact information. I want my viewers to be really free to explore the artwork on their own. Whatever they want to take as information, I let them.


Seychelles NATION: Tell us about your work being exhibited in the biennale?

Kavinash Thomoo:The work is an installation piece that was inspired by the main theme of ‘Lost and Found’. My title is ‘Can you hear me?’ It is about all of our voices. How we interpret things. How we see things. How we are living nowadays, especially after Covid-19. I can know that people are still not ready to have a mutual understanding with our environment. So it is about sustaining together, living together and being happy.

What is most important is to listen in order to be a good listener, to do things and to observe also. You will see that there is a connection between all the artists who are participating. It is kind of bizarre, yet interesting. I will not give too much information about my artwork as I said, but know that it is mostly about having the right balance and having a good understanding.


Seychelles NATION: How has the whole Covid-19 pandemic affected you as an artist?

Kavinash Thomoo:For me as an artist, it has affected me because I had so many exhibitions planned in advance two years back. A lot of exhibitions have been cancelled, not postponed. On the other hand, one positive thing about Covid-19 is that many artists also discovered other platforms online like virtual exhibitions. I have been invited to many exhibitions all around the world to showcase my work on virtual galleries. Through that, we really reached out to so many people around the world to show our work as well. Now we are progressing. We have physical exhibitions and also the virtual ones.


Seychelles NATION: What do you think of the works by other artists in the biennale?

Kavinash Thomoo: There are quite a variety of techniques. It is a very nice combination of different types of techniques working all around the same theme, which is very good.


Sylia Ah-Time

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