The famous proverb “If there is a will there’s a way” is true for those who are passionate and hard working in a chosen field, and who learn by themselves, sometimes even without a guru or mentor. An exemplary character is Eklavya, who excelled in archery without a guru, and whose tale we find in the Indian mythological epic of Mahabharat. There are also many instances in history down the ages where we come to know of many famous self-taught artists. A few of them worthy of mention are French artist Henri Rousseau, Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh, Japanese artist Yoko Ono, American artist Henry Darger besides others. Among Manipur’s young self-taught realistic artists, 23-year-old Zamminlun Singson, who hails from Churachandpur, in Manipur is the winner of the 2020 International Artist Grand Prize Competition organized by Art Revolution, Taipei during the last week of September 2020.
The artist and some of his works
Zamminlun Singson is the son of late Thangtinkhup Singson and Hoikhonei Singson of Sumtukphai village of Churachandpur district. He has two married sisters and a younger brother. After his father expired in 2017 due to cancer, he’s been looking after his family all by himself. He left Manipur for Delhi to make a livelihood, joining a private company in Delhi and at the same time pursuing graduation in Sociology through the IGNOU, in Delhi.
From his childhood days Singson had a talent for painting, but in ignorance did not keep up his skills, never seriously considering it could be a profession. He thought of it only as a pass time. But in a sudden turning point in his life in 2019, he started drawing portraits of office colleagues during his weekend holidays. Finding his talent in painting exceptional, his colleagues encouraged him to work as a professional artist. Because of their encouragement and appreciation, he thought over the matter, and took a firm decision to explore his childhood skills in art. After visiting several art galleries in Delhi, he began realizing the value and beauty of art. Thereafter, Singson started excelling in his skills of painting through Google. He was inspired by an Italian realistic artist Diego Fazio. Singson left his company job and started his realistic artwork from 3rd March 2019.
Through hard practice, he learnt a number of techniques and new ideas were born in his mind, with which came for him the desired results, Singson expressed. It took him nearly eighty hours for an artwork, and he kept on practicing for more time, putting in more effort to discover further techniques as he did not have an art teacher to himself. Mainly he used graphite pencils of all levels, and paper, for his artwork.
‘A Peaceful Smile’ (a smiling lady), which is a masterpiece of Singson’s painting collection, was his first artwork. The model is a lady from his hometown. The painting was exhibited first at the National Level Art Exhibition held at New Delhi in June, 2019. Again in September, 2019, three of his paintings were showcased at the National Art N Art Exhibition at New Delhi. A Peaceful Smile and Siorenza (name of the model from his hometown) were two of his realistic masterpiece artworks.
Details are simply amazing
After that Singson sent three of his paintings for the International Artist Grand Prize Competition, 2020 through courier from Delhi. The three paintings were A Peaceful Smile, Siorenza and Eye. Around 4500 artists from 82 countries participated in the competition, out of which 300 artists were shortlisted in the final list. Singson had missed the event held at Taipei during the last week of September 2020 because of the prevailing COVID -19 pandemic.
His artwork Siorenza was the winner of the 2020 International Artist Grand Prize Competition held at Art Revolution Taipei and A Peaceful Smile was sold at Rs. 3.74 lakh at the competition. At the competition, 20 other paintings from different countries got the gallery award, and the chairperson award went to a Taipei artist. Altogether 82 paintings were sold at the competition.
Singson did not expect to win any title at the Taipei competition. He got the information through mail about the selling of his painting and was so excited he forgot to check the mail further, and it was only after a week when he checked his mail again that he came to know the winner at the Taipei International art competition was he himself. He gave the credit for his success to his late father and other family members. Now his brother is helping him in making frames for his paintings. As his mother is illiterate she does not have any idea of her son’s artwork, but after his success she’s come to know of her son’s profession, Singson expressed.
Even blemishes on the face are part of the portraiture
He also said that he will continue considering ‘Google’ as his beloved teacher to learn more skills and techniques of painting. With the cash he got from the competition, he will buy some more materials for his paintings which he could not afford earlier. Now, he is planning to set up an Art Studio at his hometown Churachandpur, in Manipur.
On being asked what was unique about his winning the Taipei Competition, Singson opined that his skills on realistic work could have impressed the judges of that competition to declare him the winner. Once the pandemic is over, he has plans to organize art exhibitions at Imphal, Kangpokpi, Churachandpur and some other venues with the aim to motivate the new artists in the state. He is also readying to participate in the upcoming International Art Exhibition to showcase his skills to the world.
He appealed to the new artists to never give up hope, and instead work harder by practicing the latest techniques of paintings. With more practice they will get more encouragement and confidence in their work and love the art to become successful artists. He also appealed to take maximum benefits from Google to excel in any field.