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Still life steals Aizawl Art show
Published on 18 Oct. 2009 10:29 PM IST
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From the cave paintings of Altamira in Cantabria, Spain, to the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs, items of daily use were part and parcel of images drawn on walls. Many centennials later, still life paintings seem to be the most favourite subject of budding artists as still life literally steals the show at the painting exhibition with almost one-third of the paintings exhibited belonging to the genre. ‘’Still life distinctively stands out from other arts subjects. It requires sincerity and accuracy. Unlike landscape paintings, a slight out-of-line can damage the entire works. To me, the subject is challenging for young artist like me,’’ said Zaithanmawia Varte, whose still life painting was one of the finest at the art show, reported UNI. Varte, who is in his third year degree in paintings, however, was more proud of his own version of the famous Van Goghs Scream. In his Scream-I, the 20-year-old budding artist, depicts a youth with his hands in chains screaming for help. ‘’The chains in the hands symbolise all types of miseries that enslave the youths,’’ he said. Ironically, one of the figures in Scream-II has his lips stitched together. ‘’There are many such people who don’t have any strength to scream out for help,’’ Varte explained. Varte and 23 other budding artists, most of them students of School of Fine Arts, the state’s first and only arts school, are exhibiting their works at the week-long exhibition which was inaugurated by state Art and Culture Minister P C Zoramsangliana yesterday. The exhibition is being organised by Aizawl Art Gallery in association with the state Information and Public Relations Department. ‘’The exhibition has a dual objective of promoting the dying Mizo arts and encouraging my students,’’ said Laltanpuia, owner of the Aizawl Art Gallery and the School of Fine Arts. To tap the hidden artistic talents among the youths, Laltanpuia has set up the first fine arts school in Mizoram after the completion of a Diploma in Fine Arts from Mumbai. Laltanpuia has now turned paintings into a mission to fight social problems like militancy, drugs and poverty in the North-east. His art not only pleases the eyes but also conveys an important message about culture, life and most of all peace. “As there is no art college here so I had to pursue my Diploma in Art outside of the state. After completion of my course, I returned and set up this school of fine arts so that people need not go out to learn about Art. Art can attract youths towards constructive activities. I think the educated youth can be self-employed by taking to painting and there is a good demand for paintings in metro cities and foreign markets,’’ said Laltanpuia. Laltanpuia, who believes that Art can play a role in developing aesthetic values among the people of Mizoram, encountered many hardships on his journey. One of them was the absence of an Art school or guidance centre in the state. Keeping this in mind, he started the art centre, which is now molding lives of many budding artists. Today, several educated Mizo youths have joined the centre and are learning fine art. Some even plan to further develop their skills after getting trained in painting and usage of colour. While inaugurating the art exhibition, Mr Zoramsangliana claimed that the Lal Thanhawla government in Mizoram was keen to promote Mizo arts. ‘’For the first time, the state government has recently organised an art exhibition of Mizo painters at Kolkata which proved to be a grand success,’’ he said. The minister also said Vanapa Hall, the city’s largest auditorium, is soon to undergo a reconstruction. ‘’As per the plans, there will be a state-of-art art gallery,’’ he added.

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