Dimapur: Renn Mhonbemo Kikon is an artist with a difference. The 24-year-old Naga woman doesn’t use paint or brush to create conventional canvases. Instead, she weaves magic into ordinary stones and pebbles and transforms them into fascinating pieces of artwork.
Based in Dimapur, the largest city in Nagaland, the talented woman creates these artworks using stones, stones and wood crafts under the name of ‘The Villagers’ and sells them through the social media platform.
Kikon, a post-graduate in English literature from Patkai College in Dimapur, simply followed her passion when she ventured into the sector in May this year, despite being well aware of the insignificance of the art in Nagaland.
Initially, she took to the art with a desire to be able to present her dear ones with something unique as a gift, but eventually “took the risk” and made it into a career, exposing her artworks to the market.
She decided on the brand name, ‘The Villagers’, to show her empathy for the rural population. She intends to highlight the importance of their existence to the people in urban areas.
Through her venture, Kikon also intends to provide employment opportunities to school dropouts.
Speaking to EastMojo, she emotionally recalled: “My parents were surprised when they first saw my creations. Although I had told them about my start-up, they didn’t really understand it until they saw it.” She wryly added: “They have never discouraged my work, but they do keep reminding me of the civil service examinations.”
But determined that she is, Kikon is all set to continue exploring her passion in stone art.
The uniqueness of her creations is the fact that the pebbles used by her remain in their true shape and colour, without any modification. This goes a long way in connecting her work with the onlookers.
Talking about the way she chooses her stones, Kikon said, “Collecting stones is the best part of my work. Each pebble has a significant role to play, because when my eyes meet them, my heart and mind click.” Sometimes, her search for the perfect river stone often takes her to adventurous routes.
A restless artist, she often has sleepless nights thinking over her creations. She further added: “Half of my work is completed with each idea produced. However, the remaining half is the most difficult part, as it requires to match the right stones for the right frame.” Apart from her selling her own collections, she also takes customised orders from her customers.
Besides the pebble art frames that she makes, she is currently working on doormats, table wares, gift boxes and engraved pebble art. Having exhibited her creations on public platforms such as ‘Made in Nagaland’ and ‘August Rush’, where Naga entrepreneurs exhibit their art and craft, Kikon is now determined to display her work at the forthcoming Hornbill Festival, which is scheduled to be held in Kohima in December.