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How this pop-up exhibition added a new hue to Nagaland’s art scene

The ‘temporary gallery’, set up in the heart of Kohima, finds many takers among the state’s art enthusiasts

Kohima: The picturesque hill town of Kohima in Nagaland came alive with a one-of-its-kind pop-up art exhibition on Wednesday and Thursday.

With the memories of the ‘Artists' Corner’ at the 2018 Hornbill Festival still fresh in the people’s mind, the pop-up art gallery set up in the heart of the capital city added yet another dimension to the art scene in Nagaland.

A pop-up art exhibition or gallery is a short-term venue to display work by artists, designers or photographers. It is a temporary event, less formal than a gallery or museum but more formal than a private display of artworks.

A new concept for the state, the pop-up gallery attracted many onlookers, especially school children. Several art enthusiasts also took part in a master art workshop organised by Rattle & Hum Foundation in collaboration with the state department of art and culture; Savannah College of Art and Design Hong Kong; and Himalaya Fine Art, Mumbai.

Nagaland is already seeing a surge in activities related to the art sector. Speaking to EastMojo, eminent Naga artist Buddhi Thapa, who was part of the art event in Kohima, recalled how the number of professional artists has grown from just two in the very first state art exhibition held in 1976 to having the fourth highest number in the Northeast region at present.

“Art events are very rare in our state. Such events must be spontaneous and held more often to promote art,” Thapa said.

Thapa has made 22 solo exhibitions of his works across the country and about 60 group exhibitions both in India and abroad. For someone who dedicated his entire life to artistic creation, art is “beauty and reflection of self”.

Emphasizing on how art is contributing in promoting culture, he affirmed that an artist is able to reflect his culture into his work which then reflects to the world as “the expression of different artists through any medium” and this, according to Thapa, brings out the artist’s “true culture and inner thoughts”.