A young painter from Manipur is on a mission to portray the realities of life and human emotions in ways that are not seen anywhere before. Letting his passion stay alive with all the financial difficulties, his colors will cast a spell on you.
Ever since childhood, painting was the only thing Thokchom Sony had enjoyed doing. Although pursuing arts wasn’t considered as a wise option to earn a living in places like Manipur (still isn’t) but with a continuous struggle for years, Sony was finally able to convince his father to try out his passion.
Be it on the walls of his home, the blank pages of someone’s used notebooks or his own imaginary worlds, everything was just canvas for Sony where he loved doing his magic with some pencils and crayons.
“It just comes naturally. I paint what I love and feel. Whimsical, lively, transparency, human emotions, nature—these are the areas of my interest. I think a person’s work reflects his or her personality and inner being, subconsciously,” says Sony.
Sony belongs to a conservative family who still had some strains of creativity in their blood as his mother used to weave bed sheets, while his father used to make traditional murah (bamboo stick stool) but Sony’s own talent, on the other hand, was locked due to the norms of society.
He started off with his dream to paint after completing his bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Jamia Millia Islamia, followed by a Postgraduate Diploma in Visual Effects and Animation from AJK Mass Communication Research Centre. It was just a matter of getting the right inspiration and opportunity to show off his skills.
Although feminine figures dominate the space in his paintings, Sony also loves to sprinkle the natural elements in between them, which makes his work stand out like the most beautiful dreams.
“Little things in nature matter because these are as much part of the beautiful world as we are. I often draw wild grass and tiny flowers in the background of my paintings because I want people to see how beautifully detailed the patterns are in the tiny plants that most people fail to appreciate or even bother looking at,” Sony explains.
Another important aspect of his paintings is northeastern culture. Sony is heavily influenced by it and often mixes the traditional elements with a contemporary touch. He just wants people to relate more to his work and get inspired.
“We have been visually and mentally fed that certain culture, tradition and religion are the standards to look up or follow and so we have been caged to fit in these standards. For me, familiarity plays a crucial role in creating a work. Having grown up amidst a community that has been weaving for its livelihood since generations, it was inevitable for the budding artist in me to root for such homegrown inspirations,” says Sony.
Besides that, Sony also has a passion to explore new places and meet people from different backgrounds. He often roams around seeking for inspiration in insects, plants or even an autorickshaw driver. Moreover, his theory of fashion is to push the boundaries of beauty standards.
With all his tremendous paintings, Sony aims to teach his art to more aspiring artists around him and for this purpose he is working as a contractual faculty member in Jamia Millia. Apart from that, Sony is planning to showcase his paintings in the public sphere by the end of this year and is also looking for collaborations with artists across the globe.