KOHIMA, AUGUST 15: Three persons, namely Buddhi Bahadur Thapa, Bendangnungsang Ao, Kekhrielezo Stephen Mark Medom, along with the pioneering Rock band Squadron, were conferred the Governor’s Award at Raj Bhavan, Kohima on August 15.
“While India is celebrating its 75th anniversary of Independence, the country has an unfinished task of decolonization”, stated Governor of Nagaland, RN Ravi.
He said that when the British came to India, they not only colonised India politically and economically but also embarked on a project to colonise the intellectual institutions of the country in order to sustain the British Empire. This decolonisation of the mind, decolonisation of the socio-cultural and intellectual institutions of the country, remains an unfinished project, he added.
Maintaining that Art, Culture and Music are powerful medium of expression, Ravi urged the present-day artists of Nagaland to be in tune with the times and resonate the instant urges of the society.
Also speaking at the event, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said that a society that treasures Arts, Music and Literature exhibits the progress and maturity of the community. Stating that the unique identity of the State is rooted in its rich heritage and tradition, he stressed on the need to preserve and promote culture.
Earlier during the programme, Nagaland Chief Secretary J Alam informed that the Governor’s Award for Distinction in the field of Arts, Music and Literature was instituted by the State Government in 2003. However, the Governor’s Award for the year 2020 was not possible due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation.
Buddhi Bahadur Thapa
Buddhi Bahadur Thapa, a recipient of the Governor’s Award for fine art, is the son of a Gurkha Soldier who served in the British Army during World War I. According to Thapa, life is a predestined cycle planned and designed differently for everyone and one has little or no power to change what one is destined to live. His works, themed under the Cosmic and Mother Nature, are abstract depictions of life in relation with nature. His work also touches on portrait paintings on ethnic Naga tribes and depicts great manifestations of mastery over colours and techniques. So far Thapa has held 22 solo exhibitions across the country and participated in over 60 group shows and 33 art camps in India and abroad.
Bendangnunsang Ao, recipient of the Governor’s Award 2020 in Fine Art, hails from Longkhum Village, Mokokchung District. He studied Fine Arts at the Government College of Arts & Crafts, Calcutta, from 1967-1972. Completing his studies with stellar performance, Ao was recognised as one of the first qualified Naga artists. He participated in the annual art college exhibition Calcutta of 1971 and won the Ganesh Haoli award in painting. He was commissioned to sketch the Hoogly Flour Mills by Shaw Wallace Co., for the magazine ‘Sword’, and the painting of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association headquarters’ building in Nagaland.
Kekhrielezo Stephen Mark Medom
Kehrielezo Stephen Mark Medom was also awarded the Governor’s Award in Fine Arts. Medom is the son of Reverend Dr Noulezhalie Ricky Medom. He is an artist (Sculptor) who specializes in art works of clay and metals like bronze, brass and aluminium. He received his early education at the British School, New Delhi, and Ben Lippen School, South Carolina, USA. He draws inspiration from day-to-day events, experiences and societal issues. According to him, Art is a language that he uses to speak matters of the heart, the wellspring of life. One of his works, “Existence” which is a 12 feet high artwork made from scrap metal welded together in the form of a tree signifying the life of waste and scrap is installed outside Rama Krishna Mission, DC Court, Dimapur.
A recipient of the Governor’s Award 2020 in Music, Squadron Band ~ the longest surviving Rock band in the State ~ was officially formed in 1990. As a socially committed band, it was the conferred with an array of trophies and appreciation certificates ranging from local cultural outfits to international associations. Prominent among them being the IIT-Mardi Gras (Winner 1993), NE Beat Contest, Aizawl (2nd Runners Up in 1996) and winner of Nagaland Beat Contest in 1993.
Equipped with a Yahuya guitar (a music instrument brand based in Nagaland), the band went on to win many contests. Fuelled by their early success, the band spent the late ’90s touring the country extensively. Over the years, Squadron has staged numerous charity shows in aid of victims of various tragedies. Between 2008-2009 the band decided to spread the message of love, peace and brotherhood of man through musical representation and decided to tour Nagaland on the theme “Save a Life” and contributed the amount received to the respective District Hospitals.
(Page news Service)