Kohima: Budding Naga artists Among Venuh (28) and Vimhakho Sotetsu (29) organised a 3-day art exhibition, showcasing the beautiful landscape of Nagaland and its rich culture and tradition.

With the theme “Alluring Nagaland”, the art exhibition kicked off on Wednesday at the Regional Centre of Excellence for Music and Performing Arts (RCEMPA) Jotsoma, about 6 km from Kohima town.

“We came up with this exhibition because we wish to show our culture, rich tradition, landscapes, and at the same time we will be trying to sell our works and promote art,” Venuh told EastMojo.

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The young artist expressed his excitement on exploring the way of life of different Naga tribes through the medium of art. “I am very interested in studying colours and nature. I see subjects and convert them into art,” he shared.

Nine of his paintings in ‘mixed media on canvas’ and ‘acrylic on canvas’ formats were on display during the exhibition. Venuh revealed how some art pieces took over a hundred hours to create and bring to life.

Despite launching an art exhibition, the young artist shared what it took to reach there. “It is very difficult to begin a career as an artist in Nagaland. From a financial point of view, one cannot depend on art at all times. But I am trying my best to sustain myself and survive in the upcoming days by pursuing my passion,” Venuh optimistically said.

Venuh’s art partner Vimhakho Sotetsu also shared how his journey as an artist began. At the exhibition, Sotetsu exhibited six paintings, all of them on ‘acrylic on canvas’ form.

“I took up art as a profession in 2018, although I have been painting for before that. I was not able to dive into art sooner as I did not have a lot of positive encouragement. I waited for the perfect moment to launch my career as an artist,” Sotetsu shared.

The self-taught artist expressed his love of exploring places as a visual artist. “I am amazed at some of the views that we have in our state. Take Mount Japfu, for instance,” Vimhakho said, showing off his painting of the iconic peak, the second highest in the state.

“I painted this because the beauty and structure of the mountain really fascinated me,” the 29-year-old said about the painting of the famous Mount Japfu that took him close to 35 hours to paint.

He also expressed his delight of working with his fellow artist, gladly sharing that the collaboration has strengthened their friendship.

The exhibition, which was formally inaugurated by Chairman of the Task Force for Music and Arts (TaFMA) Theja Meru and OSD to the Transport Department Ababe Ezung, will continue till Friday at RCEMPA.

On the occasion, TaFMA chairman Theja Meru revealed that to promote local artists, an art residency will be conducted at Doyang water reservoir, Wokha in the month of June.

Speaking at the launch, Meru said that art residencies are timely conducted to encourage local artists in Nagaland. He said that the documentation of the way of life of the Nagas through art will go a long way in preserving the Naga legacy for generations.

The renowned musician then termed artists “silent heroes” of the society. He encouraged the young artists to continue inspiring people through art.

OSD Transport Ababe Ezung advised local artists to be consistent and encouraged them to seriously pursue art as a profession.

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Addressing the gathering ahead of the inauguration, Ezung recounted how he became a professional photographer at a time when digital camera was not introduced in Nagaland. He also hoped that such exhibitions will encourage artists to explore beyond the state.

The 3-day art exhibition is curated and managed by artists of Nagaland.

Also read: Nagaland Board of School Education declares HSLC, HSSLC results

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