Mizo artists roll up canvases

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Aizawl, Aug 25 (UNI) Mizo artists are virtually living the life of 'Cacofonix', the bard of the famous Asterix comics with no appreciation of their arts in the society.

Trained by the European missionaries in the late 19th century, Mizo society has developed into a highly civilized one but they were still facing serious challenges to earn their livelihood.

'' Even as we have a highly developed society, I am wondering how many years we still have to go when fine arts would be appreciated,'' wonders Tlangrokhuma, one of the state's finest artist.

The 58-year-old artist has discovered a new concept of painting which he calls ''Zozehart'', a rare combination of realistic and abstract painting.

Despite critics and art lovers outside Mizoram liking the new style of painting it has failed to capture the hearts of people in the homeland laments Tlangrokhuma, a Lalit Kala Akademy, category V artist who had been honoured with Lalit Kala Academy awards and a few other national awards.

Lack of public interest in arts forced many Mizo artists to shut down their shops to find other sources of income, he said, adding many award-winning artists were writing signboards.

Ralte, former president of Mizoram artists' society has closed his Zotex arts shop and now runs a restaurant.

According to Ralte, there were about 150 artists recognised by the state, belonging either to the Mizoram Artists' Society (MAS) or the Mizoram Academy of Fine Arts (MAFA). Around 90 per cent of them have given up painting, he informed.

Lalmalsawma, a specialist in water colour painting said the government had failed to give them exposure.

'' If the government gives importance to fine arts as it does to cultural dances, things would have been different'', he added.

UNI ZS RH SY HT1717

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