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Nagaland

Stone artist looks beyond the conventional

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By Esther Verma Updated: May 08, 2018 11:17 pm
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A creation of Renn Mhombemo Kikon from rocks and pebbles.

Esther Verma
Dimapur, May 8 (EMN): For some artists, the first rule of art would never be to use the word “cannot” as it kills creativity. For artist Renn Mhonbemo Kikon the word does not exist.
Kikon is not just ordinary “paint and brush artist” but somebody who likes to think out of the box. Her skill for framing stone art and wood work started to take form one day during her college days when Kikon, being the “spendthrift” that she was could not afford to buy gifts for her loved ones during special occasions.
“Gifting is something through which we can express our feelings and emotions to our loved ones,” she says when asked what inspired her to take this art form. She revealed that she was always filled with “regrets” for not being able to present anyone with gifts.
“Through my own imagination, I decided to express these emotions in a unique way and make my loved ones happy,” she expressed.
Originally hailing from Bhandari in Wokha, she speaks passionately of the love and concern she has for the rural section of Nagaland. “The villagers are less privileged in today’s advanced generation. Born and brought up in a small town surrounded by many neighbouring villages, my concern grew for them each day,” she says describing what inspired her to name her venture “The villagers.”
Renn explains that she often ponders on how to improve the livelihood of the people living in the rural parts of the state.
“I just want to bring them and make them part of the main stream economy,” Renn admitted adding she still has not been able to but hoped that with her small venture she can help in little ways as possible.
While many artists’ life revolves around their art, Renn could also just be the next Indian Administrative Service officer. After getting a bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s College, Jakhama, and obtaining another master’s degree in English Literature from Patkai Christian College, Kikon recently completed her coaching classes for the upcoming UPSC exams.
“This may sound a little funny to some but I am a person who doesn’t believe in the saying ‘focus on one thing,’ which doesn’t work in the real sense. I always encourage myself to have back up plans which is why I choose to work on ‘The Villagers’ as I prepare for competitive exams.”
It is not just with mere imagination but also determination that this artist decided to have a go with her art. Like most parents in Nagaland, Kikon revealed that her parents are no different when it comes to the idea of “obtaining a government job.” “Many of our Naga parents are obsessed with government jobs. I wanted to be an example to those parents belonging to this category and help erase this obsession which is within them and also encourage my young talented Naga’s, she remarked adding that she would love to help and provide a platform of opportunity especially to the young high school drop outs.
While most youth these days complain of the lack of resources and infrastructure which leads to unemployment, Kikon firmly added that she does not want to use those things as excuses. “It sounds right at that time to say that there are no opportunities and lack of resources but not if we think differently,” she explained adding that it was also her realisation to create her own platform which is making her dreams into a reality.
“In Nagaland according to my little experience, the reason behind the lack of resources cannot be entirely because of the lack of manufacturing industries but looking into the scenario, resources will be available only if there are people to utilise them or if there is someone to demand for certain resources,” the artist pointed out hinting at how many young talents are wasting away in the state.
This artist has no plans of limiting her artistic freedom anytime soon as she concludes by saying that even though her parents do not encourage her in the business sector, they do not discourage her in following her passion as well. “We must try to escape from the zone of thinking government jobs are the only real jobs available,” she said for which she expressed appreciation to her parents and siblings in showing support.
The artist hopes that the youth will “go out and create” with the opportunities that lay before them not just depending on luck but also giving in “passion, devotion and effort.”
The artist can be contacted at 8415980464 and on the email Thevillagers18@gmail.com

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By Esther Verma Updated: May 08, 2018 11:17:02 pm