At the peak of his 30s, Sandeep Jigdung is a known name among the artistic community in India. Hailing from the town of Diphu in Karbi Anglong, Sandeep is an alumnus of College of Art, Delhi. Through his work, he strives to portray the exquisite natural beauty found in the region.
Art is creative and expressive, but in a country like India, it is not a smooth ride, especially for those who want to pursue it as a career and make enough money to pay the bills. But Sandeep has never been one to run away from a challenge. ‘In life, nothing is too small, nor too big, or too impossible to achieve. All one needs is discipline, determination and dignity to achieve what one truly wants. These virtues have made me what I am today. All I know is that I have to keep giving my best, come what may.’
Sandeep has held the paintbrush for as long as he can remember. But it was in 2007 that he started taking his passion seriously and started to pursue it as his profession. Most of us loved skimming through picturesque illustrations in comics and storybooks when we were young, but it didn’t just stop there for Sandeep. Not only did he like looking at it, he also loved scrutinizing the art, which in fact was one of the reasons that triggered Sandeep’s interest in art in the first place. Another important trigger was nature, which eventually took centre stage in his artwork.
This talented artist has two important individuals to thank for his decision to pursue art as a profession, his elder brother’s friend and his high school teacher, Brian Wallang. As a child, he was always eager to check out the drawings and paintings made by his brother’s friend. The older boy’s creativity inspired him and also helped bring out his own. Then in high school, his teacher and mentor encouraged him to pursue fine arts. Even today, both individuals continue to inspire and encourage Sandeep. He also draws inspiration from the intricate works of 20th century artists like Pablo Picasso and Henri Rousseau.
Growing up in a hilly town, Sandeep was always surrounded by flowers and birds, the wilderness and its exotic landscape. ‘This childhood fascination with the “sublime wild” left a lasting impression and this affair with the wild deeply inspired me as an artist,’ he said. His experiences amidst nature encouraged him to capture the aesthetic beauty of nature and the intricacies of the flora and fauna found in the region. Through his work, he intends to make his spectators aware of the deteriorating state of the environment, which is a result of people’s insensate attitude. He hopes that his art will inspire more and more people to revive nature.
Yes, nature plays a major role in his art but the curious mind wants to know if he ever wants to try his hand painting something else. He reveals, ‘My family and friends’ portraits.’
Making Room For Art
The Northeast is home to a number of amazing artists but Sandeep believes that art is still not the most sought-after career in the region due to conventional perceptions. ‘Unlike many other fields of study, art is being neglected by schools and colleges and government(s) during or after high school. Even today many people think that the job of an artist is just making banners and signboards. They think that art has no scope, and no money. It is our responsibility to educate parents, elders and also the government about the importance of this field and how important it is to bring up more art schools and colleges in the country, especially in the Northeast.’
Studio Address: 86/C, Jagat Singh Building, Room No-1, First Floor, Humayunpur Village, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi – 110029
Follow him on Instagram (www.instagram.com/jiggyart) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/sandeep.jigdung)
By Deirdre Basumatary
The feature was first published in Eclectic Northeast August 2018 issue