Meet Thokchom Sony, a 28 year old artist from Manipur based in New Delhi, who is currently teaching as contract faculty in A.J.K. Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia. Having studied fine arts, Thokchom began his vocation as an independent artist by illustrating graphic novels to children story books amid his graduation. He has been painting out his thoughts and ideas and making commissioned arts and fashion illustrations for fashion designers. The immaculate atmosphere of the Northeast, traditions of Manipur, fashion and music are the essential properties that propel his works. The strong lines in his art, the practical caricatures and quirky concepts with hints of elements from Mother Nature – all stand out with a tale to tell. The enthusiasm that was once his side interest is now a profession, and that itself is a living proof of the fact that we can fan the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.
– I’ve been drawing and painting since I was 4. I’d say I was born with it – it’s a gift from above. Drawing became my favourite activity since then – a hobby that turned into profession.
Is your personality somehow reflected in your works?
– Yes! My art works reflect who I am, what I love, my expressions and emotions. They have a funky, crazy and sensational edge and you’ll also find decent amounts of colours and Nature.
What is the strongest childhood memory that you have?
– Vivid childhood memories are the best kind of memories that are tattooed in my heart. One would be those days when we used to get new clothes and get ready early in the morning. Mom would take us to grandma’s place for Ningol chakouba (A festival that honors the love between the siblings of a household). Grandma’s homemade fish curry was the tastiest. We’d go back home with lots of gifts and pocket money after a hearty meal. Those are the days that I treasure the most.
Has real-life situations inspired you?
– Yes, they always inspire me and teach me a great deal of things. For instance, discrimination based on race and gender calls for resistance, because these are issues that matter to me. I make paintings that speak about equality.
What themes do you pursue?
– Fashion, decorative arts and conceptual.
Are there any particular artists or works that have influenced you?
– Yes many actually. Some of them are Amrita Sher Gil, Frida Kahlo and Miss led.