The London-based artist from Nagaland Temsuyanger Longkumer explores issues related to socio-cultural traditions in ethnic societies, and the relationship between microbial world societies and our own in the fourth edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennial.
Exhibited at the Sprawling Aspinwall Housein Fort Kochi and the title "Gods Summit" is a sculptural multimedia work depicting a utopian conversation among the gods and prophets about the difficulty of what humanity has done for itself.
In the installation, a tent acts as the symbolic meeting place of the summit. Collapsed sound clips from over forty films in several languages form God's persuasion, with translation projected nearby. This work highlights events from global history at some important pivotal moments where irreversible change has occurred and raises the question of what it means to have power, control, authority, wisdom, vision.
"Work on the implicit idea that these gods represent different philosophical positions," says the 42-year-old artist who did her MA Graphics from MS University, Baroda. "With diverse interests, politics and life facing. You see the emergence of a cacophony of light-hearted and grave voices – agree, disagree and share."
Longkumer works are deeply inspired by their roots in the hilly northeastern state where he grew up in a pristine village called the Lapain Mon district.
"The scenic region was untouched by industrialization and filled with mythological stories and beauty in nature," he recalls. "My Naga roots have influenced me tremendously. I am very attached to the country, its people and our culture."
"I was born in a place where water was carried in bamboo stems from the forest to the home. We cultivated rice and vegetables and hunted animals for meat," he goes back. "There were no schools, hospitals, roads or transport; people lived with nature, but it was magic everywhere. "
Longkumer installation in the second place, Pepper House which is not so far from Aspinwall, is Kerala centered. It stands as a symbol of hope after the August floods that ravaged the southern coastal state. "Get a Rainbow II attempt to make a rainbow that is visible both in the night and today. Work," he says, also symbolizes a recent Supreme Court ruling against IPC §377 that criminalized homosexuality.