Art works, mostly inspired by the contemporary happenings in the society and predictions, were displayed at the opening of the five-day solo art exhibition of state Kala Akademi awardee M Samson Meetei “Khongchat” opened on Sunday at 1 Art Gallery in Imphal West.
As many as 70 art works, including drawing, paintings, sculpture, graphics (printmaking) and mixed media developed between 1995 and 2022 by the multifaceted artist were showcased in the exhibition.
The exhibition, which was inaugurated by commissioner of Art and Culture, M Joy, is considered as a vivid example of Samson’s almost two decades of laborious effort in fine arts by the visitors.
Speaking to the media, Samson admitted that Manipur is still in the struggling stage in the field of visual arts. He, however, contended the misconception of insecurity while pursuing fine arts as a career.
He said that pursuing fine arts in the state as a career is a viable option to sustain livelihood.
“With the only income generated from the art works, I am able to run my family smoothly,” he added.
Further clarifying the misconception that fine arts syllabus in schools is only for those artist aspirants, he explained, fine arts is not a subject to let the students pursue visual arts as their career but to expose their hidden creativity.
Samson stressed the need for awareness on fine arts so that the public visualised it in the correct way.
While appreciating the state government efforts to encourage the artists of Manipur by ways of introducing schemes such as “CM gi Artists Singgi Tengbang”, he said that the artists of the state are hoping for more welfare policy in order to take one step further from the present position.
Meanwhile, the commissioner informed that the state government is planning to introduce a pension scheme for the artists, especially those state and national awardees who are above 60 years.
The government is trying to cover at least Rs. 30,000 to 50,000 per annum in such an upcoming pension scheme, he added.
While informing that all due procedures for screening the beneficiaries of the CM gi Artists Singgi Tengbang of the present phase is completed, he said that the sanction will be released in March.
Talking about the solo exhibition, he said it is indeed a part of a great achievement in Samson's journey.
The fine art community in the state is very limited, he said, drawing the attention of the media and stakeholders to promote the outstanding productions of the artists of Manipur.
The exhibited art works includes the drawing “Family” which bagged the Manipur State Art Exposition Award 2009 and the 83rd Annual All India Art Exhibition Award; the `painting “Leingaklon” which bagged the 1st MKPB Memorial Art Award; the painting “AFSPA 1958” which bagged the MSKA Collection and the painting “Emerged Body” which bagged the commendation certificate winner at 3rd National Junior Artist Exhibition among others.
The opening day of the exhibition also witnessed a huge number of arts enthusiasts and students.
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