North eastern names of an Indian identity: artist and filmmaker Chinmoy Barma

chinmoy barma assamese AI artist

There is some quality inherently irresistible in art that has pursuers of them paint for themselves some of the most detailed identities. Even more specifically appealing in the unique traits of their furthering thus such penchant for the arts that they bear in ‘indigenous’ terms, evoking then a distinct world of imagination as part of the emotion that they live through, and those creative souls who derive all their essence from within themselves eke out for their defining a narrative imbued with numerous strands intertwined through that composing. Occurring then in even greater a representation in uniqueness of what renders an element of the curious that is appealing even in the confounded character of its alluding are these enigmatic identities of the ordinary world who are worth celebrating therefore in all of their artistry, whether idiosyncratic or otherwise.

Claiming for himself a real residing in this ambit of the immensely creative assertion tending more to the imaginary would be a proud Axomiya, the roots of whose being are deeply entrenched in a special regard for his nativity. Within the contours of which he assumes identity, the special talent of Chinmoy Barma plays through very evidently in every possible shade of perceiving. Or to be more exact, even in such strokes of character that are true only in the all allowing fancies of the imagination, yet imbued with such convincing streaks of the real that affords a character sketch of considerable depth.

chinmoy barma artist
Source: Flickr

Much like his muses then, this young man possesses also the charm of intrigue. Except that Barma is far more real than the characters he sketches himself, whether in terms of their drawing and depicting or instead in constructing stories through their being. An artist as well as a filmmaker- each identity of which feeds into the other as essential elements of exploring the overlapping nuances of both even when singularly dealing with their definite individuality, Barma’s gamut in imagining and visualising and realising hence the vivid images struck up or even stuck in his mind occurs as one of unbelievable versatileness.

Legends and folklores are his greatest fascination it seems, the already mythical and/ or mysterious nature of which only exemplifies his own meddling with the darks. The ploy of the psychological is of paramount importance in pretty much everything he does, whether expressed through the striking imagery in intention or colored through the drawn lines of his painted and drawn lines and colors of the images. But while images of the spooky or the dark might speak of the theme of his envisioning, the essential expression explored by Chinmoy Barma is one very heartwarming.

As an Assamese himself who has since childhood listened with rapt attention the many tales and fables generously drawing upon the surprisingly abundant trove of mythical creatures to weave fantastical folktales serving also a parallelly pertinent purpose of invoking fear and awe. With lores and legends necessarily employing these metaphors of the dark and the evil and the bad, or even when only frightful as a ‘guide’ indeed of the elements that one needs to be wary about, it is only natural that these creatures of fictional depicting have come to be essential somethings of our culture, much like versions of them shaping up cultures all over the world.

Traditional then in their referring, the magic of which is almost lost upon the world, even when they are (thankfully) not definite entities of reality, these ‘identities’ still of our continuing existence as one community in essence would not manage to stand up even to their own imposing image of however evilish efficacy. Trust then this terrific of the talented traits to trace such trails treaded by these thrilling thrives and what Chinmoy Barma manages to offer strikes as an exposition of the unusual and therefore the extraordinary.

In his cinematic compositions of Ghorapaak and Jokhini most evidently, these representations outside the natural doctrine of human existence takes centerstage with each of these films being eponymous descriptions of their depiction. But even in the not so obvious curations availed out of the plethora of a perceptually reality more collective than personal, Barma employs still unique characteristics of Assamese folk beliefs and legends to continue with in his intent of ensuring that these eccentric but essential ideas binding individual components of an entire culture do not lose out on their appeal.

In Ghorapaak for instance, apart from the palpable ‘calling’ upon the half horse- half human assertion, it also is the indigenous folk dance of Ojapali through which the narrative unfolds. The experience entailed out of this occurrence as a composite whole is one enhanced indeed by such complementary- and complimenting elements of culture, a term that itself is as dynamic and ironically ambiguous of what it impresses upon. Another such representation of the cultural is deftly woven into the gripping tale that Tezor Tukura relays, such that the impact of this psychological again play of the artistic nuances dances to the tune- quite literally indeed, of a puppeted strumming.

Tezor Tukura however would be striking in also an altogether different assertion of the ‘ominous’. As a fantasy horror film, this expectedly chilling serving of his filmmaking abilities assumes even greater a character in drawing upon the conscience as well of Chinmoy Barma. With the menstrual cycle as another element pivotal to this rendition, Tezor Tukura is steeped in a greater extent of the purpose that cinema embodies in its identity as one of the most effective mediums in influencing and reforming society.

chinmoy barma filmography
Source: Instagram

This idea in social conscientiousness and responsibility is not a one-off encounter deliberately drawn in this depiction of the occult as something pervading and permeating indeed the contours of the Assamese society. In fact so stirred has Barma forever been by many such taboos and ‘unnaturals’ that rules rampant the supposedly civilised courses of human society that has his upcoming project revolve entirely around one such issue of disregard. Hijra sums up this dimension of his thought, shaping up as a film that explores the third gender in its coursing through the Assamese context.

Such accounts of arising might seem only natural enough for someone like Chinmoy Barma who is quite ‘seasoned’ now in his identity as a filmmaker. Indeed, having started out in the year of 2014 when he was still in college, it has been a decade almost of exploring and experiencing the arena of immersive reality that films necessarily emerge from. And yet even in his very maiden venture as a second year engineering student, Barma’s first ever short film Flip too had the rather complex concept of multiple personality disorder as its plot. Touching upon the intricacies of the human existence seems to be his forte and Chinmoy Barma has continuously delved into his faculties and deployed all of its immense power to consistently deliver scripts and sketches brilliant in all their gripping performance.

Similarly capturing the imagination would also be Barma’s production Morome Ringiaai that identifies as more emotional than psychological. Having been the official international selection to festivals like The Lift-Off Sessions, UK, First-Time Filmmaker Sessions by Pinewood studios, Guwahati International Film Festival, etc, this endearing narrative of what dwells in the affectionate bond between an elderly human and his cow tugs at the heart indeed with Barma managing yet again to appeal to the essentially emotionally constructed human. The Assamese essence flows throughout through this telling of tale as well, even when it is more universal in its dealing with a greater premise.

chinmoy barma
Source: Facebook

The trail of his creativity has remained uninterrupted through the years with projects like Xaathor, 7th Sin, Firqa Parasti, Aham- each unique and impeccable in their own definite way only expanding the reputation and repetoire of Chinmoy Barma as a versatile filmmaker. It is his Axomiyaness that dominates throughout in this entire compendium of his creations, with a specific specialness attributable to his fancying the demons and ghosts- colloquially the bhoot-prets of what we all have been ‘conversant’ with since childhood. The conversant nature of Barma happens to be even diverse however, with his dabbling in and dazzling through such turns of identity that speak about his varying range of interests.

Even when he has always bled and breathed art, Chinmoy Barma’s profile is one as distinct in his mastery over the sciences. A brilliant student who went on to complete his engineering, Barma had also worked as Business Development Analyst and social Media Content Developer & marketing Manager. But of course it is cinema and art and stories where his heart lies, as something he has come to fancy in many such brushes with the intriguing works of the imaginary. “Childhood experiences accumulated in the stories through artistic expression” is his own way of describing his creations and something that resonates indeed with anyone having found themselves in similar a state of growing up. What it is then but a revisiting of those moments of life that this budding artist so conveniently brings to us while allowing others a glimpse into the spectacularities of what sums up his artistry as well as his identity.