Mourning for Gurumayum Shyamsunder Sharma, sculptor artist of Three Mothers Art Gallery of Manipur.
As we are nearing the completion of five years of FindingTheVoices, I was reflecting on moments that made FindingTheVoices real, moments that gave meaning to my quest and vision to continue FindingTheVoices.
Yesterday I shared a picture in Facebook sharing a moment “It broke my heart to see the crumpling condition of Three Mothers Art Gallery in Imphal, Manipur.”
Then I shared another picture of another moment “I was truly touched and felt connected by the way Gurumayum Shyamsunder Sharma, sculpture artist of Three Mothers Art Gallery calling me “Sana” instead of my name. Sana, literal meaning is gold but it’s a way of addressing someone with love in Manipur. And I had forgotten this beautiful way of addressing.” I remember my mother fondly sharing about her childhood “Oh, when I grew up, I was Ebemma at home.”
Staying away from Manipur for 25 years now, I have missed experiencing many of the beautiful ways of life in Manipur. The journey of FindingTheVoices have been very fruitful and enriching to me as a person, striking a deep chord in taking pride of my origin and roots.
Sir Laba Yambem commented on the post sharing the news about the passing of the main artist of Three Mothers Art Gallery.
I got confirmation of the sad, very sad news that Gurumayum Shyamsunder Sharma passed away on August 12, 2017. He was born on September 24, 1955. The news filled me with such grief, regret and anger. His passing is a big loss to Manipur, a big loss to the community of sculptor artists of the world.
It is my deepest regret that we have failed him in recognizing his talent and giving him the support to nurture his inborn gifted talent. It gave me goosebumps when he shared about seeing the vision of what to carve when he sees the raw roots at nights and hence he worked mostly at nights. He didn’t have a blue print for any of his sculptors, it was all in his mind which he carved.
I saw a true artist seeing the blessing of such talents in Manipur. His sculptors conveyed the deepest meaning in art form with important relevance to the history and people of Manipur. But it broke my heart to see the crumbling gallery, the beautiful artwork smudged with dust from the fallen ceiling. It made me think of the art gallery in other places where artwork are kept with such value, boxed within glasses, guards closely monitoring the many lined up visitors from touching the artwork.
His vision of what he wanted to carve is truly inspirational but we have failed him to provide a platform and nurture his talent.
If you haven’t heard about Three Mothers Art Gallery, that is the first failure point. Why haven’t you heard about it ? Why don’t you know about the artist? Where are the visitors lining up to see his artwork? Why is his artwork not promoted? Where are the promotions? Why is his gallery crumpled? Shouldn’t his artwork display be one of the main display for tourist spot in Manipur?
Gurumayum Shyamsunder Sharma (September 24, 1955- August 12, 2017) gifted sculptor artist of Three Mothers Art Gallery, Manipur passed away. He was just 61 years old. He had dreams, many unfulfilled dreams. I have failed him. The people have failed him. Manipur has failed him. India has failed him.
I implore you to visit Three Mothers Art Gallery, Wangkhei, Thangapat Mapal Palace Compound, Imphal East, Manipur and seek your help and support for elevating Three Mothers Art Gallery in Imphal.
Monica Ingudam, founder of FindingTheVoices, A weekly talk show with the vision to promote positivity in the conflicted land of Manipur. Monica Ingudam is based in Maryland, Unites States and is originally from Manipur, the Indian state.