‘I work across a range of topics and media including installations and time based art,’ says Temsuyanger Longkumer. He belongs to a new generation of artists who are comfortable in different spaces, and in fact use it to their advantage, as is evident in Temsuyanger’s work which is a complex coming together of various socio-cultural influences. Born and brought up in Nagaland, Temsuyanger spent his formative years in the State, and most of his work reflects his deep love of his native land, its customs, dances, music, and most of all, its people. ‘A key theme I explore is the decline of indigenous cultures in the face of constant technological and societal change and how to preserve traditional practices with the help of art and technology’ reflects Temsu, as he is fondly known amongst friends.
His last solo exhibition in India was at IIC, New Delhi. Titled ‘God’s Summit’, it envisions a utopian conversation amongst the Gods and Prophets about the predicament of what humanity has done to itself. In the installation, a tent functioned as the symbolic meeting place of the summit. Collaged sound clips from films in multiple languages form the Gods’ deliberation, with a translation projected nearby.
What made this exhibition special was the exploration of the historical and the contemporary in a brand new avatar, resulting in an emergent hybridity that is tonally rich. Surrounding the installation are photographs of the series of sculptures ‘SUPERSTARS, Portraits of Remarkable People I Have Met’. Buffalo skulls form the base of the sculptures, and its use originates from the traditional Naga