TODAY -

Art Exhibition by R & V Art House

Nicky Chandam *

R & V  Art House's First Art Fest 2018
R & V Art House's First Art Fest 2018 : Pix - TSE



Art Exhibition

Last week Manipur witnessed an Art Exhibition with a new attempt. Organized by R & V Art House, “Manipur’s first book of art/ art fest” was held at the lawn of Hotel Imphal, on Sep 9 2018. The fest saw a participation by 31 artists of age group above 18 years, both amateur and professionals.

When speaking to Dr Vijita Ningombam of R&V Art House, she expressed “the attempt is to bring platforms of national and international level to artists of Manipur”. R & V Art House is a start-up whose “objective is to create platforms for Manipuri Artists to showcase their work at National and international level and help them establish in the field of art”.

Following this exhibition, a second Fest will be held at Mumbai and the third one in Florida, USA. These paintings will also be there in the Manipur’s first book of Art. The book is in process. Professor Nirmalendu Das of Vishwa Bharati University, Santiniketan judged the competition. “Each painting here in the competition talks about the issues of Manipur as portrayed by the individual artist. In a way this is a social movement. As you know stories of Manipur are not captured enough in the mainstream media. This is the artists’ way of reaching out to the world with their stories of Manipur.”

“The things involved in this exhibition are all eco-friendly, the tea-cups are made by us, the potters are from Manipur, the TV which is showcasing the paintings is a product of Manipur. And which is why we have kept the exhibition in the lawn instead of art gallery is because we wanted the public to get in, not just art lovers. So, that people here know the name of the artists rather than us promoting the artists here.”

“We also experimented, collaborating music with paintings. We had Manipuri folk music. I feel folk music has been lost. If people are singing folk music it has been modernized. The purity is lost. What we had here was just the singer and the Pena.”

When asked if the Art house will be taking the artists to the Mumbai exhibition, Dr Vijita Ningombam shared that the intent is there, however, currently there is logistic challenges as they are operating without seeking support from the Government.

Dr Vijita Ningombam shared what prompted her to start R&V Art House (along with Robin Wahengbam). She has been passionate about the field of arts from a very young age and she always had a strong desire to do something for the society. She found a big loop hole in this side, for the artists in Manipur and she thought this is something she can work on.

She is a doctor by profession specialized in cosmetic medicine. As a child she was introduced in cinema, she played “Khamnu” in the movie “Khamba Thoibi” at the age of 9. She was part of documentary movies and TV shows. She also mentioned that she has written many articles and blogs.

Robin Wahengbam is a well known artist of Manipur who has done his specialization in graphics arts from Vishwa Bharati University, Santiniketan. He has numerous works to his credit: designing stage and Ambience for Manipur Tourism Sangai Festival, art installation for inter-cultural dialogue between North East India and South East Asia for IGNCA, New Delhi, production design for Ford Foundation Production Film “Soldiers in Sarong” . He also designed the mascot for the 5th National Games held in Manipur in 1999.

Manipur has seen many Art Exhibitions organized by State Kala Akademi, Imphal Art College and few groups like Neo Gene. I cannot miss to mention here that last year December the second International Imphal Art Camp was organized in Manipur. It was one a high level camp held in Manipur involving both national and international artists, however, sadly the event ended with a bitter note with some of the Manipuri artists and the organizers having a public feud. Manipur just can't seem to stay away from anger.

R&V Art Fest was a one of a kind with long vision to bring various arts and crafts of Manipur under a one umbrella. For a new organization to organize such a big fest without the support of Govt funding in a place like Manipur, is indeed a bold step. It shows the founders are determined to bring a change in the area of arts and social movement through creative ways.

Most of the paintings speak about the pathos of the people of Manipur. A creative medium of outlet. One of the challenges will be reaching out to the public and engaging in creative conversations.

Manipur is witnessing a slow change in its social movements. Art and Literature will have to play a strong role in a mass movement.

In a land with years of resistance and violence, it brings hope of peaceful conversations to see such an initiative taken up by people with passion like Robin Wahengbam and Dr Vijita Ningombam .


* Nicky Chandam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is an Emerging poet, photographer, writer and a passionate story-seeker.
She is based in Delhi. Can be reached at n(DOT)chandam(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on September 26, 2018 and later updated on Sep 27.



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