The Khasi Visual Arts Tradition -4

In music, the air of excessive sound with excitement will provide temporary pleasure and thrill; even lyrics with extreme glorification of self or a section of people in terms of gender, social status or social importance of a particular community will allow the listener to feel subjective emotions and sometimes prejudice towards others. The only good thing about loud, fast music is extreme hilarity. Usually, this kind of outburst will hamper the minds of listeners and lead to intolerance and chauvinism. On the other hand, slow music is soothing and allows for constant focus and a lasting impression on the listeners. Moreover, slow music lyrics are always suitable for romance, tragedy, cheerfulness and all kinds of positive emotions. Moreover, slow music provided enormous space for values ​​and ideals of human expression.

In the visual arts, excessive exposure to vulgarity, violence, and misery can divert viewers’ attention to criminal indulgence and encourage prejudice. However, moderate exposure to decency, grief, and despair will motivate compassion, sympathy, and tolerance. For example, a nude photo can represent simplicity or vulgarity depending on the creator of the image; the bloodshed of people can represent compassion or hostility depending on the creator of the image.

Even some so-called patriotic songs are subjective in nature with elements of allegiance to a particular native and intolerance towards neighbors and other human beings, who can sometimes be referred to as enemies. What is extremely positive for one community may be negative for another. This is the order of the day, the so-called survival of the fittest; the supremacy of the intelligent over the wise, of the intelligent over the simple, of the natural over the artificial, of excellent education over ethical values, of authority over subjects, of the famous over the obscure, upper class over working community, invaders over colonies, modern technology over ancient folk knowledge, organic over synthetic, servitude over freedom and so on.

Music and the visual arts have the ability to lead and motivate people in a positive or negative direction in life depending on individual choice. Freedom of individual choice is the foundation of the right or wrong path in life, whether the path is right or wrong. A good trip can lead in the wrong direction and a bad trip can lead in the right direction; not so bad if a good trip leads in the right direction and miserable if a bad trip can lead in the wrong direction. Whether it feels good or bad depends on an individual person’s perception and the subsequent outcome. A nude photo can be seen as a sexual orientation or a symbol of innocence. An image of bloodshed can be seen as compassion towards victims who are human or revenge against enemies who are also human. In the context of the visual arts, a nude photo is a reference for the actual understanding of the anatomy of a human figure; and further study of the structure can identify the skeletal framework in relation to the movement of each part of the body.

It was these elaborate and analytical studies of the structure of the human body and human behavior that gave rise to further research in ethnology, sociology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, and even theology. It is through the detailed studies of these sciences of humanity that scholars and scholars have realized the emergence and evolution of popular culture, the growth of cultural tradition and the progress of civilization. In each of these stages of studies, creativity is involved and requires careful refinement of the application and the result of maturity and excellence. It is an art that has segmented the different stages of popular art, contemporary art and classical art. Even with such a complex effort of creativity and distinction, there are still shortcomings and failures in some development of human innovation and discovery. Therefore, the concept of postmodernism emerged as an instrument to recall the past, rejuvenate organic resources, and restore the legacy of ancient wisdom.

On the other hand, there is also liberal artistic expression that contains factual images about society without accountability to the masses that could create harmful repercussions and consequences for society. At the same time, these liberal arts practitioners claimed to represent public opinion but behaved in an elitist manner by forming certain opinions according to their interests without taking into account the universal context of all humanity. Therefore, in Khasi’s perception, liberal denotes ‘Laitlan’, which means an open mind without social responsibility; while freedom denotes ‘Laitluid’, which denotes an open mind with social responsibility. In the Khasi context, freedom of speech is different from liberal speech. The advancement of technology has led to huge changes in the entire social structure across the globe, where social media is the common platform from the highest class to the lowest strata of society. Even if there is no discrimination in the communication process; however, there is universal consensus on the need to restrict certain random expressions. It is difficult to draw a line between the permissible mode of expression and the prohibited mode of expression in the public space and therefore a socially responsible statement without prejudice could be the viable and sensible mode of expression.

In the contemporary situation, there is a liberal expression which leads to violence and criminal indulgence which the civil authority must contain by appropriate mechanisms; which also prevail alongside several undesirable moral impositions with ulterior motives of the mighty aristocratic apparatus. This conflict is a natural and artistic expression is a way that could answer these contentious issues. This is because the socio-political system elsewhere in the world affirms exclusivity; while the ancient indigenous Khasi system strives for inclusion. However, the current situation in the Khasi society is already contaminated by foreign notions of social organization, where many times there are consecutive contradictions within the society. It is also important to remember that the Khasi community is devoid of any visual content in the folk art tradition.

The static or animated film reflects the values ​​of life in society; such as humility, perseverance, generosity, honesty and many of those qualities which inspire human conduct and behavior, with the motive of doing all that is good and shunning all that might hurt one individual or a company. Knowing goodness is also necessary to understand the badness of abstaining from it and choosing only the good things in life. The comparison is necessary given the fact that the individual aspiration that could be detrimental to others is likely to be sacrificed for the benefit of the collective well-being. Most people tend to do something easier even though it may harm others and sometimes selfishness outweighs the common good and causes harm to both sides.

‘Where is the conflict? When there is no conflict at all”, it is assumed that a local artist seems to echo his point of view on the artistic event organized in the city. Shillong is a small town, but a cosmopolitan sphere at heart. The artist said, “I don’t see any difference with the art space vibe that is prevalent elsewhere in the country and claimed that it is the same as in any metropolitan city in the country. He must have have multi-layered impressions of the exhibition “Eyeing Conflict: An Art Exhibition” held at Synod College as part of the international seminar “An Eye for an Eye: Conflict in Southeast Asia” organized by the Department of English of Synod College. On the other hand, another local artist said, “It gives us great pleasure to have attended Synod College, and it is for the fourth time this year for the pleasure of art. people of the state and the local artistic fraternity owe immense gratitude to the administration and all the stakeholders of Synod College, Shillong for giving a boost to local artists in Meghalaya. first time local artists have converged on a not a common platform for serious art discourse, unlike the state government’s series of high-level art festivals with limited content accompanied by the extravagance of unwanted amusements and mockery. . Even the supreme authority on visuals in the country, Lalit Kala Akademi has never created such an impact on art in the region as much as the event “An Eye for an Eye: Conflict in Southeast Asia” with the exclusive art exhibition on the occasion.

Some of the leading art figures in the state were taken by surprise during the panel discussion moderated by Federick Donboklang Hynñiewta. Eyeing Conflict: An Art Exhibition is an attempt to assess the controversial question “Does the art of regional or local artists really matter?” to discursive or thematic forces. In a certain context, there is a ground reality about society’s attitude towards art, where so-called intellectuals prefer to stay away from the discourse on visual art because of the supposed notion of pure ignoring. The synthesis between representatives and practitioners of literature, theatre, music and the visual arts is lacking on all fronts; and it is necessary to synergize the creative impulse of each with appropriate study, review, critique and interaction across the full range of creative expressions.