Naga artists Vineizotuo Tase and Khrisaviku Sachu painted a 60x30-ft wall mural on ‘Amur Tiger’ at Vladivostok in Russia Credit: EastMojo image 

Kohima: As part of the Vladivostok Rock (V-Rox) festival, two self-taught artists from Nagaland — Vineizotuo Tase (30) and Khrisaviku Sachu (24) — painted a 60×30-ft wall mural of Amur Tiger, a permanent symbol of Vladivostok representing good luck, in the Russian city recently.

Speaking exclusively with EastMojo, Tase thanked Nagaland Tourism for supporting them all the way to the foreign land. He also expressed gratitude to Rattle and Hum Foundation, who partnered with the V-Rox fest organisers in Russia for giving them the privilege of becoming a part of the mega festival.

Vineizotuo Tase (30) working on a 60×30 ft wall mural in Vladivostok, Russia

Sharing his experience, the 30-year-old literature graduate said that it was a different world out there in terms of the genres they were into — be it music, visual arts or food. “Getting to meet artists from different corners of the world and working together was really beautiful. I’ve also shared with them about our very own Nagaland. The whole experience was priceless,” he added.

Talking about their work in Vladivostok, Tase said that that they wanted to do a mural on culture, portraits and traditional attire of their native land. “We did a handful of layouts for that but at the end everything needed to be approved by the city council. Eventually, we ended painting the Amur tiger which they requested us to do,” he said.

Expressing his views on the challenges of being a professional artist from Nagaland, Tase said that there are not enough markets and at the end everyone ends up on their own. “But personally, for me, the biggest challenge is being both an artist and a businessperson,” he said.

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Tase optimistically added that at the end of the day, the instant gratification one gets after working hard and being able to create a little atmosphere of happiness with the people around keep him going. “I think that levels up everything,” he added.

A full-time freelance professional artist, Tase said: “I believe that if you’re working hard enough, there’s always a better tomorrow. To quote a phrase from Harold Robbin’s novel, ‘tomorrow comes, it sure does and when it comes, it comes with a whole new world with it’.”

Meanwhile taking about his experience in the foreign music fest, Khrisaviku Sachu said that he had an amazing experience at the V-Rox festival and is proud that he represented his team Project 72 Hours and the country as a whole at the festival.

Naga artist Khrisaviku Sachu, 24, painting a wall mural of ‘Amur Tiger’ in Vladivostok, Russia as part of the V-Rox festival

Speaking on the experience of meeting artists from different countries and sharing a common passion for art, Sachu said that he was happy and satisfied with the work as they received positive feedback from local residents of Vladivostok.

“We were also invited to a contemporary art exhibition which was exciting. It was not only art, we also saw and experienced new food, music and almost everything that was happening at the festival,” he added.

Recalling the memorable journey, Sachu said that Vladivostok holds the word “special” for him for its beauty as the city is surrounded by sea and mountains, making it a great place for nature lovers.

When asked about similarities of his painting experience at Vladivostok with that of the his native state, Sachu acknowledged that while it was a great learning experience to collaborate with artists from around the world, other factors like canvas and passion remained the same. “Artists in Vladivostok don’t use bamboo poles as scaffold,” he added humorously.

“Visual art is a way to express my interest and share it with people around me, and ever since I joined ‘Project 72 Hours’, they mould me in taking art seriously and it has always been an honour to be part of the team,” he added.

Formed in 2015, Project 72 Hours is a community-based organisation from Kohima. It comprises an 11-member team headed by Sievituo Solo with the sole aim of encouraging citizens to voluntarily take part in activities that uplift society. The team has uniquely initiated town cleaning through street art, besides other community services.

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