Blast victim, Konthoujam Maikel Meetei is a prominent freelance painting artiste who has won many awards for his painting works. He is a victim of the fateful Pourabi blast of December 16, 2007 wherein he lost his limbs. Since then, he walks on the earth with prosthetic legs.
The fateful blast still haunts Maikel
“I can’t forget the fateful incident till date. The fateful day still haunts my mind. I am trying to depict the horrifying incident that took place inside a bus in the evening of December 16, 2007 through my art works. I have put what I felt that day on canvas to convey the message of peace and shun violence. I wish to depict a peaceful society without any terror or bloodshed”, Maikel said.
Recalling the incident, Maikel said that he was returning home by bus after participating in a painting competition held at Imphal Art College when the bomb exploded thereby killing eight persons and leaving 31 injured. He lost both his legs in the incident and was compelled to walk on artificial limps since then. “Only victims remember the terror. I pray that such incidents are not repeated,” the soft spoken, humble painter said while talking to Manipur times.
Passion for painting
Born on February 12, 1989, Konthoujam Maikel Meetei is the son of Konthoujam Mohon Meetei, a cultivator by profession hailing from Sagolmang Wakhong village in Imphal East. He had a great passion for painting since his childhood. Scenic natural beauty of his village motivated him to be a painting artiste in life.
Compelled by his passion, he began his career in painting in 2000. He learnt the skill of painting from one Longjam Shashikumar DFA painting artiste from Keibi Heikak Mapal in Imphal East. He is now undergoing research work in young scholarship painting under Manipur State Kala Akademi, Imphal under the guidance of Prof M. Tombi.
He has completed B.F.A. (Painting) in first class from Imphal Art College under Manipur University in 2010. He is still unmarried and living with his parents.
Exhibitions he participated
Painter Maikel has participated in many Children’s and Youth’s level art competition cum exhibition in State, Zonal, National and International levels. He participated in ASM annual art exhibit 2009 & 2011, Manipur State Art Expo 2009 & 2010, Kalakshetra, Guwahati 2009 and annual art exhibition organized by Manipur state Kala Akademi in 2009 & 2010.
Maikel attended the 3-days workshop on traditional Dolls and Toys of Manipur 2007, organised by “IGNA, New Delhi, MFDC, Imphal & SACH, Manipur'” and 5-day Artist’s (Painting) Workshop 2011, organised by Manipur State Kala Akademi (MSKA), Imphal and Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi.
Awards & Honours
Several organisations have encouraged Maikel with prestigious awards and honours in recognition of his art works. He bagged gold Medal in the Korasala’s Wonder Art World International Children’s Art Competition cum Exhibition 2002, 2004, 2005 and International Best Child Artist Award 2003 organised by Korasala Art Society, Amalapuram, Gold Medal in the 7th National Art Comp. VARANIKA 2008 organised by Mannav Sanket Academy, Ujjain (MP), Rajkumar Sanatombi Award 2008 conferred by Managing Committee, R.K. Sanatombi Devi Vidyalaya, Imphal and His Excellency, Governor of Manipur, Young talented Artistes Award for Painting 2008-09, NEZCC, Dimapur, Gold Medal (Collage Comp.) XXIV Inter-varsity National Youth Fest 2009, West Bengal, 2nd Prize in the All India Drawing Competition 2010, Shri Ramakrishna vijayam, Mylapore, Chennai, Honourable mention 2009, Manipur State Kala Akademi and State Craft Award 2011-12 conferred by Directorate of Commerce & Industries, Government of Manipur.
He won National Scholarship in 2008-09 under Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India, New Delhi.
The creative work which depicts a myriad of colours based on ‘dream of peace’ is a series of painting the 27-year-old artist has been employing to create a signature blend of creativity, imagination, talent and most importantly devotion.
“Uncertain feelings” is one of the attractive art works of Maikel which he arties to depict how the contemporary girls are affected by the ever increasing trend of social media.
Saying that he has trained about 15 students under Guru Shishya Parampara project, Maikel said, “ I wish to bring out more painting artiste and to see the day when my dream to set up Maikel Meetei Artworld gallery materialized”.
Professional dedication is a must for every painting artiste to achieve excellence in the field. Discipline should be maintained. Painting needs an inborn quality, creativity skill. One cannot be a prominent artiste without such qualities; he observed adding he wants to be an artiste who can depict all the happenings taking place in present day Manipur on his canvass.