Language: Interview in Meiteilon/Manipuri.
We are at the Three Mothers Art Gallery at Thangapat Mapal, Imphal. The museum has an enormous collection of wood sculptures carved out of wood stems depicting various animals, from reptiles to ocean life. To add more meaning to the beauty, most of these sculptures tell a story, carved onto them by the very talented and hardworking artist, Mr. Gurumayum Shyamsunder Sharma. According to the artist, the three mothers as stated in the name symbolize the three mothers in a person’s life. The first is the woman who gave birth, the second is mother Earth and the third is the mother tongue of the person.
Mr. Shyamsunder started the art of wood carving at the age of 10. At first, he learnt making mud sculptures from his grandfather whilst assisting him. Later on, he applied his skills in making sculptures out of wood stems. The idea of making sculptures out of wood stems dawned upon him one night when he saw a shadow of the roots of a tree cast on a wall. He says that he gets more creative at night as a result. The beautiful stone sculptures of the Greeks and the Romans were an inspiration for him. The amount of details carved in the stones was astonishing to look at.
In this episode, the artist also talks about a few sculptures he created. One of them is a woman in chains with one of her hands cut off. The chains symbolize the state of Manipur under the British Rule and the cut off hand represents the loss of Kabaw Valley to Burma.
Born and raised in the violence-torn landscape of Manipur, I have a vision to promote and spread inspiring, empowering, educative & entertaining stories. I believe that we can create contents bringing the positive side of Manipur. I believe we can do this together by finding the voices, voices which needs to be heard and shared, voices of our own people, people of Manipur and well-wishers of Manipur. I believe that these voices will bring a change and connect all of us.