imchatsung imchen | photo essay
Imchatsung Imchen is a visionary artist/entrepreneur who seeks inspiration in music, fashion and design to express his distinctive art of storytelling.
13
archive,tag,tag-photo-essay-2,tag-13,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,content_with_no_min_height,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.0.1,vc_responsive

These Hills Called Home

Dzükou Valley is like no other.
The clouds seem to echo its beauty
And the air smells of its magnificence. 
If anywhere on Earth could a place like Heaven exist!
I will call for you.
Dzükou Valley. November 29th 2013.
WP_002306 WP_002309 WP_002315 WP_002317 WP_0023181 WP_002323 WP_002325 WP_002328 1 2 3 WP_002352 WP_002354 WP_002358 WP_002360
There are two routes to trek Dzükou Valley in Nagaland. One is from Viswema Village (which is what you see here) and the other is from Khonoma Village. All images from my Nokia Windows Phone and unedited. Thank you to ‘anung’ Mhabe for planning the trip! 

<3 to David & Achi for a blissful wedding the next day!
Read More

thuvopisu

“Where is he?” the mother screamed. Her son went missing this early morning. Biné had taken the opportunity to sneak out of the house while his mother was humming tunes and weaving a blue woven shawl on her backstrap loom. He ran as fast as he could all alone and cleverly started catching fish from the wet paddy fields. He saw the green rice sprouts had grown taller from the last time they planted, the morning sun gleamed the still waters and highlighted the snails like beads floating along his path. His only company was the spring song that his late grandmother taught him. He was just seven years old and the boy from Thuvopisu village.” – Imchatsung Imchen, Thuvopisu [Story build on a narrative by Mercy Tetseo]

1
Maternal Aunt: Azu Kiivethilii

Thuvopisu is a prominent village of the Chakhesang Tribe in Nagaland. It falls under Phek District, located about 80 kms from Kohima. I recently got an opportunity to travel with the Tetseo family who belong to this mystical village. The village holds prominence for its ideal location and served as a strategic route for the Japanese during the Second World War. Also known for its organic garlic farming and exports, every household of the village (and about six surrounding villages) obtains drinking water supply from the magical Dzüdü Lake.

 

3
The Chakhesang tribe of Nagaland are known for their musical expertise and the Tetseo family are a testament to that. The family consist of the parents, four sisters (Mercy, Azi, Lulu & Kuku) and a brother (Mhaseve). The four sisters are collectively known as the Tetseo Sisters and the brother Mhaseve is an exceptional independent musician and sound engineer.

4
Mhaseve Tetseo

Letters from Thuvopisu is a photo essay tribute inspired by a track ‘cepho celho’ from the first album of the Tetseo Sisters. The song narrates the reminiscence of youth and the seasons of change. The lyrics of the song are included in the images, which were captured during the shooting of an experimental ‘cepho celho’ video releasing very soon. All the woven pieces worn by the siblings in these photos were made by the mother of the family.  

13
Mother
5
Maternal Aunts: Azu Kiivethilii and Azu Kiidupralii
2
Letter to Azi
6
7
Lulu

 

8
9
Mercy
10
Kuku
11
Mercy, Kuku, Lulu
You can find info on Thuvopisu, the Tetseo Sisters, their music and stories on this link
 
Read More

framed:some thousand wings

“Today, my bird flew away
Gone to find her big blue jay
Starlight, before she took flight
I sang a lullaby of bird land every night
I sang a lullaby every night
Sang for my Ava every night”

DSC_6320DSC_63201

 DSC_6323 DSC_6322

With dread I woke in my bed
To shooting pains up in my head
Lovebird, my beautiful bird
Spoke until one day she couldn’t be heard
She spoke until one day she couldn’t be heard
She just stopped singing


DSC_6325 DSC_6326 DSC_6322

 

 

Ava was the morning, now she’s gone
She’s reborn like Sarah Vaughan
In the sanctuary she has found
Birds surround her sweet sound
And Ava flies in paradise
And Ava flies in paradise”

October Song by Amy Winehouse
Album: Frank [2003]
DSC_6327 DSC_6328
DSC_6329 DSC_63281


‘a thousand wings’ are a series of photographed images.
I finally got them framed for my brother’s new house in Nagaland.
Read More

A Kathak Story

     iamcha-anghar    s-low
Kathak: the word Kathak is derived from the word ‘Katha‘, meaning ‘the art of storytelling’. It is also synonymous with the community of artists known as the ‘Kathakas‘ whose hereditary profession was to narrate history though dance. With dance, music and mime these storytellers of ancient India would bring to life the tales of epics and the scriptures. 
 
f-low1
Recently got an opportunity to design an angharkha set for Emran Thiara, an artist now based in London, who is featured in these stunning frames shot by fine-art photographer Ajay Koli. Since he essentially wanted something white for a kathak performance, I designed this 16 panel angharkha with printed indigo details, styled with a woven scarf developed in Nagaland. The design of the overall look was simple but it still retained the dynamic movement and fluidity, beautifully brought to life by the photographer.

 

 q  d

6-LOW

p-low

Kathak Dancer: Emran Thiara
Photographer: Ajay Koli 
Read More

spring’s refrain: a song for péro

spring’s refrain: a song for péro


one summer’s noon,
three sisters from far far east 
made a visit to the forbidden garden

plants they brightened
made them blue with their songs.

one summer’s noon,
three sisters painted a memory
made a mountain of the building
 
clothes they wore with ease
my favourite summer’s best from péro.



spring-summer 2013 péro by aneeth arora with the tetseo sisters

Read More

Aben & Ashwin’s Story

DSC_2167
aben-and-ashwin
I personally don’t like attending big gatherings. Wedding is definitely one of them. Sometimes long distance and work don’t allow you to be present at such events. But the day before, the 16th of October, I was fortunate to witness the blissful union Ashwin and Aben. I know Aben’s family since I was very young. In fact her elder brother Sashi (yes ladies, he is single!) is also a childhood friend of mine. 
 
If I were given a choice to pick five people among my family friends as my style icons, the now new wife Abenla would easily sail away to that list. The few following photos which I managed to click during the event is a taste of how great the wedding was. Simple, honest and an absolute delight. On behalf of all the friends and well-wishers, I wish the newly couple lots of love, happiness and music!
 
You can check her beautiful work here
 
IMG_8881f

The March

IMG_8880

The beautiful mother in handwoven attires from Nagaland

IMG_8897

Bride

IMG_8879

Aben’s Brother

IMG_9060

Paan!

IMG_9122

Aben’s brother Sashi on the left

IMG_9062

Mimi

IMG_9151

Ashwin’s sister

IMG_9144

Aben’s sister

IMG_8906 IMG_8914 IMG_8929 IMG_8928 IMG_8934 IMG_8931 IMG_8935 IMG_8949 IMG_8959 IMG_8968 IMG_9002 IMG_9037 IMG_9112 IMG_9129 IMG_9157 IMG_9153 IMG_9100 IMG_9135 IMG_9184 DSC_2169

Read More

The Cats and the Moon ❤

When I posted my first story on these cats, I couldn’t tell who was who. Now these seven months twin kittens are all growing up too fast. The lighter one is ‘Anet’ AKA Yamaha (Yamaha in Ao language means ‘this is not it’). Arigato is the darker naughty one who was found on the neighbour’s terrace! He is also known as Aket. ‘Gatto’ means cat in Italian and so Arigato, also meaning ‘thank you’ in Japanese was named by his godmother Aneeth Arora. Aket and Anet means ‘one’ and ‘two’ in Ao.

 
These cats wanted to compare their fur with the fine cashmere from péro fall-winter 2012 collection. So I shot some pictures, most of which you will find on the péro by Aneeth Arora page
imcha2 imcha5 imcha4
“The cat went here and there 
And the moon spun round like a top, 
And the nearest kin of the moon, 
The creeping cat, looked up. 
Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon, 
For, wander and wail as he would, 
The pure cold light in the sky 
Troubled his animal blood.
Minnaloushe runs in the grass
Lifting his delicate feet. 
Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance? 
When two close kindred meet, 
What better than call a dance? 
Maybe the moon may learn, 
Tired of that courtly fashion, 
A new dance turn. 

imcha6

Minnaloushe creeps through the grass 
From moonlit place to place, 
The sacred moon overhead 
Has taken a new phase. 
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils 
Will pass from change to change, 
And that from round to crescent, 
From crescent to round they range? 
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass 
Alone, important and wise, 
And lifts to the changing moon 
His changing eyes.”

 

The Cat and the Moon – William Butler Yeats
imcha3
Renaldo Moon Twins: Yamaha “Anet” & Arigato “Aket”

All clothes and kitty accessories are from the house of péro
Location: The Forbidden Garden
Read More

Legend of the Moon

Lately the posts are getting a little generic and sad, so I decided to change up the mood at the expense of my new kitties. You may definitely try the stunts below at home. Presenting the Moon Twins.
Moon1 Moon2 Moon3 Moon4 Moon5 Moon6Moon7
Lycanthropic symptoms are liable to occur between the old and the new moons, coming at the bidding of the spirits that cannot be denied. The soul generally enters the leopard during sleep, returning to the human body at daybreak.
 Moon8 Moon10 Moon9 Moon101 Moon11
My Soul does not live in my body. It is not in me now. It lives in the leopard. It visits me in sleep. It meet it in my dreams. Then I know what it has been doing. If anything happened to my leopard in the day my soul would come and tell me..
Moon12 Moon13

Excerpts from Of Leopard Men and Tiger Spirits.The Hidden World of the Naga. Living Traditions in  Northeast India and Burma. Aglaja Stirn & Peter Van Ham. Prestel.
Read More

An Umbrella Story

This post is a photo essay stirred by an umbrella I bought from the Desert Handicraft Emporium run by historian and curator L. Narayan Khatri. If you ever happen to visit Jaisalmer, you have to visit the Thar Heritage Museum founded by him. 
 
The Golden City gives one a picturesque memory of its nomadic lifestyle and the folk tunes, of a land once submerged by sea, of the glorious Meghadamber, the celebrated and haunting Sation Ka Pagothia where thousands of Rajput women performed Sati… This post is for Jaisalmer. See you in Winter!
 
2
Chandra Singh outside the Emporium 1
3
Garisar Lake
5
25 kms away from Jaisalmer
8
6
7
9
Jhanvi
111
Sation Ka Pagothia
12
Inside the  Fort: Ajay Singh, the guide
13
13a
Ajay walks every morning and does this!
14
Read More