London-based Naga artist promotes indigenous cultures through unique art form

, 1:34 PM IST
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New Delhi: Over the years, many youths from India’s northeast region have excelled in the fields of science, sports, music and art bringing accolades and laurels to the nation.

However, in a rare instance, a London-based printmaker and a multimedia artist who hails from the province of Nagaland, Temsuyanger Longkumer, strives to bring forth and revive the dying art of the indigenous people across the globe by blending his artwork with technology.

The artist works across a range of topics that includes installations, drawing, print making, sculpture and time based art.

Longkumer, who has a degree of Masters in Printmaking from the Royal College of Art, London, has come a long way in fulfilling his childhood dreams.

Youngest in the eight siblings and brought up in a missionary family, Longkumer is an Associate Member of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers at the Bankside Gallery, London, and has been artist-in-residence at the Cite international des Arts in Paris and the Fondazione Pistolett in Biella, Italy.

“When I was doing printmaking, I also caught very much into sculpture, video art and installations. So yes, I try to distribute my time into 2 to 3 months every year for print making and the rest of the time, I am doing either sculptures, time based art like this or sketching, so I do a bit of everything. I also do animation and things like that,” said Longkumer.

Longkumer’s work has been showcased across the globe, winning many accolades and appreciation from the art lovers.

One of his latest works based on the theme ‘Gods Summit’ a solo exhibition is showcasing for the first time in India at India International Centre in New Delhi from April 8 to 19, 2017.

“This is my first exhibition in about 15 years in India; this is where I started my professional career as an artist, so it’s very much like a homecoming for me,” said the artist.

Exhibiting his latest works; Gods Summit highlights a utopian conversation amongst the Gods and Prophets about the predicament of what humanity has done to itself.

In the installation a tent functions as the symbolic meeting place of the summit. Collaged sound clips from about 30 films from across the globe by using 15 to 20 different languages form the Gods’ discourses, with translation projected on the sidelines.

The unique artwork displaying at the art gallery pondered the question oneself of what it means to have flawless power, control, authority, wisdom and a free will in humankind.

When asked the reason behind choosing the theme ‘Gods Summit’ Longkumer said “The concept are based around the idea of what if the gods and prophets met up in one place and have a meeting, a bit like UN Summit. Have a meeting between themselves and what would they talk about or what kind of issues they would be dealing with. So I tried to create a narrative by using film clips from over 30 films”.

At the exhibition, series photographs of sculptures from his work ‘SUPERSTARS, Portraits of Remarkable People I Have Met’ filled the room.

The artist use of buffalo skulls highlights the traditional Naga practice of adorning dwellings with animal skulls to commemorate special events and adds personalised symbolism to these portraits.

Caption with Jesus of Nagaland in one of the portrait stands a rare piece at the art gallery. (ANI)