Imphal, Feb 6:
National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi, in collaboration with Penguin Books and Imasi Foundation, organized an interactive session with authors L. Somi Roy and Dr. Thangjam Hindustani Devi to launch their book titled “Feathers, Fools and Farts” at its library today.
The book, “Feathers, Fools, and Farts,” offers a captivating retelling of Manipuri folktales with a creative twist. A notable feature of the book is its illustrations, which vividly depict the rich visual culture of Manipur. The event also featured a special reading of an excerpt from the book by Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, Hon’ble Minister of State for Culture and External Affairs. Lekhi read a story titled “The Autumn Lamp – Mera wa yungba,” highlighting the theme of brotherhood between the Meitei and Tangkhul communities.
Dr. Somi Roy expressed his delight at the NGMA hosting the launch, particularly emphasizing the significance of the illustrations by Sapha Yumnam. He noted that this event marked the first program dedicated to Manipuri art at the museum, shining a spotlight on Manipur’s visual arts tradition. Roy highlighted that the introduction of “Subika Art,” based on artwork found in the subika manuscripts of Manipur, represents the introduction of an entirely new art form to the world of South Asian art. He praised Penguin Books for playing a pivotal role in bringing this unique art form to light through their publication of both “Feathers, Fools and Farts” and “And That Is Why.”
Dr. Hindustani echoed Roy’s sentiments, emphasizing the significance of the event in bringing together art and stories from Manipur in a unique manner. She underscored NGMA’s role in highlighting Manipuri art as a distinctive art form, particularly through its focus on the illustrations in the book. She lauded Penguin Books for commissioning books that showcase Manipuri myths and folktales illustrated in the same unique art style, recognizing the publisher’s important role in promoting Manipuri art and culture.
Overall, the event marked a significant milestone in showcasing Manipuri art and literature on a prestigious platform like NGMA, furthering awareness and appreciation of the rich cultural heritage of Manipur.