Lipokmanen is a talented self taught artist from Nagaland. He draws and sketches in charcoal and acrylic paint and passionately depicts the life of the Naga’s and the culture surrounding them through his work.
We at R&L are proud to feature this young artist, who is so deeply bound to his culture and roots that he hopes to inspire younger people to learn the true value of it. Read on to know what he has to say about his art and what he tries to relay to people through his pieces.
Self-taught artist Lipokmanen Longkumer from Nagaland chats with R&L about the inspirations behind his artwork, his latest project, and how an incident where he came last in a painting competition made him more committed to his work as an artist.
Hello Lipok! Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Lipokmanen Longkumer and I’m a self-taught artist currently based in Kohima. I was born and brought up in the small village of Changtongya under the Mokokchung district (in Nagaland). I completed my graduation from Oriental College Kohima last year.
Tell us about your work and how you got your start as an artist.
I mostly make art with a cultural theme using charcoal and acrylic paint. In 2009 my friend encouraged me to enter a painting competition. I remember feeling quite awkward about securing the last position. It was then that I made a commitment to myself that whatever comes my way, I will strive for excellence. I truly believe that it’s God’s grace that has led me all the way here.
“The reason I decided to become an artist has nothing to do with fame or money but that I find my happiness in making art. After all, isn’t happiness the goal for most of us?”
A Naga mother and her child | Oil on canvas painting by Lipokmanen
Medium Charcoal on paper – “A Naga Warrior” by Lipokmanen.
What’s your creative philosophy? Where do you take inspiration from?
I’m mostly inspired by my rich Naga culture. To me, it’s the very fabric of our identity as well as our beautiful existence. I believe that silence speaks louder than words but a picture speaks a thousand words.
“I try to stay connected to my culture and Naga traditions,and also stay rooted to my village folks and family from Changtongya. The values that are important to the place I come from, and the people I grew up with, form an essential element of my artwork. There’s really no need for me to go beyond the four corners of Nagaland; I find inspiration in every little detail of my Naga culture and also the physical world that surrounds me.”
An acrylic painting of a Naga man in rich traditional attire by Lipokmanen
Boys and Men of a Naga village spending an afternoon in their bamboo terrace | Charcoal on paper by Lipokmanen
What do you hope people take away from your art?
We tend to get carried away by new trends of the world, and in the process end up moving further away from our own root culture. Therefore through my paintings, I want to spread the beauty and the importance of my Naga ethnicity and culture.
Nail art of a Naga Headhunter | Artist Lipokmanen in action
Tell us about your latest project.
Currently, I’m working on a sculpture that takes inspiration from the connection between man and nature. The main motive behind the work is to educate people about the need to conserve the environment. I believe and hope that people might one day realize the need for sustainable solutions to avoid further destruction and promote a positive relationship between man and nature.
Trekking to Dzukou Valley, Nagaland
“Save The Deer” Oil on Canvas by Lipokmanen
“A Forest in Nagaland” Acrylic on Canvas by Lipokmanen
Visit Lipokmanen’s Instagram page to explore Places and people of Nagaland through his artwork
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