Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Meetings with artists and animators

My name is Throngkiuba Yimchungrü, but I am also known as Athrong for short.  I am 20 years old and I am an art student studying at the Indian College of Arts and Draftsmanship in Kolkata.  In 2009 I participated in the State Art Exhibition in Nagaland, and in 2010 I was selected in a national competition to participate in a group show organised by ICCR in Kolkata.  In 2011 I was honoured with the Young Talented Artist Award by the North East Zone Cultural Centre (Government of India).

I am from the Yimchungrü tribe in Eastern Nagaland.  Our culture has changed so much and we are losing touch with our heritage.  Unfortunately I do not know of any other artists from my community nor am I familiar with our folktales.  I use charcoal, pencil, acrylic, oil, watercolour – even dental tools and any other materials that I can find around in my creative activities.  I am mostly inspired by political and social corruption in my art, and I really appreciate classical paintings. 

My ambition is to achieve my Bachelors Degree in India and then perhaps to study abroad for my Masters.  When I am fully qualified, I will work to promote my people and culture through the field of art and in that way I will also be contributing for a better Nagaland. 

It was instinct that inspired me to take up art.  I grew up without a father and my childhood was not easy.  My mother had to bring up five of us alone and this hardship continues to shape me as an artist.  I began taking art seriously after a motorbike accident in 2009 which limited my mobility for a while and I began practicing art for up to nine hours a day.   At first my family discouraged me from art, but now they support me fully.   My mother has a lot of intuition and now I am also developing the ability to interpret dreams. 

So far I have not tried using digital tools or animation in my artwork, but I look forward to getting into this after I have achieved my degree.  For the time being, I am totally into painting and sculpture. 

I have joined the Adivasi Arts Trust so that I can meet other artists and get involved in more projects in the future.  I am starting by illustrating some Yimchungrü folktales.

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