Manipur State Kala Academi's Painting Workshop in October 2011

By:- Salam Anilkumar Singh *

Manipur State Kala Academi's Painting Workshop in October 2011

In my last visit to Imphal, I was lucky enough to witness a painting workshop held by the Manipur State Kala Academi. I visited the event on the last day (22nd Oct'11) of the 5-Day long workshop & inauguration of painting exhibition.

Shri AnilKumar Salam was the critic of the event. When the critic shared his review of the workshop with the artists & Shri S.Pranam Singh Commissioner of the workshop, I suggested that the event report should be made available through web media for maximum coverage. Shri Anil & everyone in the forum endorsed the idea & hence this small report.

This workshop is 1st of its kind since the Manipur State Kala Academi came into existence in early 1971-72. The energy & enthusiasm of the participants was vibrant. Artists - new & old shared their ideas & techniques with each other.

In the evening the Valedictory Function of the 5-Day Workshop & Inauguration of the Painting Exhibition was held with Dr. R.K Nimai Singh, IAS, Commissioner, Arts & Culture, Govt.Of Manipur as the Chief Guest.

During the function the Artists (participants) presented their thoughts on the workshop. Each voice echoed the question "Why did State Kala Academi took more than 20 years for such a workshop?". The artists also demanded a gallery where works of select artists should be put up. A need more for more such workshops & exhibitions was raised. The collective request was that more platform should be given to the artists of Manipur so that works of the National & Inter-National level can be produced from our homeland.

Nicky Chandam

18th Oct – 22nd Oct'11

After a long gap of nearly two decades the State Kala Akademi, Manipur in collaboration with the Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi has finally initiated the long awaited artists workshop (18th - 22nd Oct'11, Dance College- Palace Compound), comprising of 18 artists of the younger generation along with a few seniors with the eminent artist S.Pranam Singh, Associate Professor Banaras Hindu University, as the commissioner of the workshop.

There is a mark difference in the composition of the workshop campers in stark contrast to the workshops of the by-gone years. For the first time, an artist of immense fame who happens to be a native lad of Manipur has come to conduct the workshop. This indeed is a turning point indicating capability & growth of the native artist in the realm of national & international arena. The campers also come from diverse fields of occupations fired up with the passion of creating good works of arts.

One can sense the urge to pave a way for themselves and hold a place in the galaxy of eminent artists.

When this report was filed in, most of the works were in process of being under execution, but still the dynamism and the finer strokes with an enriched palette of lively colors with a variant of interesting subjects could be easily diverse and of appreciable value.

Iswar's acrylic venture into the world of women's plight entitled "Burden" is a treat for the eyes with bold strokes and interplay of forms and shades of different hues.

Ksh. Sarat's work leads us to a nostalgic freshness of nature's greenery far from the polluted world. His use of rich variants of greens is soothing and reclusive.

M. Thomas is another genre of artist of the same flavour. His strong sense to return back to nature has been beautifully portrayed with the cooling blue dominating his canvas.

Th. Robindro's rendezvous with Irom Sharmila where the "Iron Lady" is depicted with swirling motion of texture aptly bring forth a powerful rendering justifiable of the subject entitled "Fate" itself.

S. Boby has sought an unique subject –women in the state of motherhood. Pregnancy has been rarely been depicted and he has interestingly delve this subject with the dexterity use of warm colours suiting amicably to the subject depicted.

A soul touching subject has been emotionally attributed by K. Maikel Meetie. A victim of Pourabi bomb blast, he has poured his bitter sentiments and horrifying experience in his painting "Terrorism I". Here he tries to convey a message of his anguish and despair for victims of such gory brutality.

B.B. Sharma's effort in unravelling the mystery of infinity in his work "universe" revolves around the whole canvas in a dynamic proportion.

M. Maningou's expression of universal love and affection is well defined in his semi-realistic rendering of mother and child eternal truth.

A. Bidyapati's "Fish out of Water" is symbolical of the present situation in Manipur with a distant sense-abstract rendering of a traditional woman with a hookah mirrors the Thadow- Kuki ethnic culture and custom which is dominated by blues and greens; a reflection of the current situation of Manipur invested with bandhs and blockages. The two figures belonging to different ethnic groups stand listlessly in a world of despair and hopelessness.

Somewhat similar to this desperate situation is yet another beautiful painting of Lalit who has focussed on the once merry making turned sour and bitter of a woman in semi-abstract deliberation. The use of bold strokes with White colours pre-dominating brings about a thought provoking picture.

Gandumpu Golmei's "Kabui-ram" is a figurative painting with a rich palette of vivid and bright colours.

L. Jiten's oil painting on the turmoil of the young generation is pleasingly effectively and picturesque of a subject well defined.

S. Bhubaneshwar tries to capture the tranquillity and blissful nature's charm.A serene painting endorsed with delightful strokes it is very freshening and levitating.

Chandrashekar aptly pictures the load of responsibility taken by women to undo the wrong doings of the society while A. Joychandra Sharma wraps up all in his colourful "Aber Khel" of Ras Lila rejoicing the joy of life and the will to live on.

S. Pranam Singh, the Commissioner of the workshop, has also put in his immense talent in a painting which is unique to his style of imparting an insight to the variant moods of the characters that he has so perfectly captured with the abstract resonance of colors and an over-whelming depicting of charm and poise. The backdrops are a feast of delightful strokes of abstraction with an expressive portrayal of the human figure exhorting a sublime beauty.

This workshop is unique in the sense that it heralds yet another genre of young artists who are out to make a mark for the themselves and as a chain linking the past to the present for a better future of brilliance and accomplishments with a difference; putting this tiny state in the world map of finer creativity.

See the full Gallery from the Artists - Part 1 , Part 2

* Salam Anilkumar Singh, a National Awardee (Artist), wrote this article for . This article was sent via Nicky Chandam who can be contacted at n(dot)chandam(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was webcasted at on 02 November 2011.

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