Renowned Mizo painter, Tlangrokhuma's 32 year old painting of the Deputy Commissioner's Office, Aizawl has become a valuable piece of art, especially after the tragic fire incident at the office on 17 December, 2021. The main office and the nearby structures, along with hundreds of important documents were lost in the fire last year. Fortunately, the 32 year old painting survived the fire and is now back in the home of the painter for minor retouching works.
In 1990, Tlangrokhuma took up the challenging task of painting the DC's office. It was a time when there were no tall buildings nearby and it was impossible to have an aerial shot of the office compound. The dedicated painter manually measured the proportion of the entire office compound using a measuring tape. He counted each and every stone blocks and bricks used in the retaining wall and the office structure.
"With a canvas and a pencil laid out on the floor infront of me, I closed my eyes and imagined myself floating above the compound and tried to picture it from the top. I repeated this more than a hundred times and it was a tiring process as there were no photographs for reference," said the 72 year old painter. A true pioneer of the arts in Mizoram, Tlangrokhuma's contribution to the promotion of Mizo history and culture is remarkably noteworthy. He has received many awards for his artistic works including the Pranab Baruah Art Award in 2017 and the Lalit Kala Academy Award.
The 131 year old Deputy Commissioner's Office was one of the oldest structures in the city. It was even declared as a state heritage building by Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). Fondly called "Bawrhsap Pisapui" by the Mizo community, the Office of the Deputy Commissioner is the first office of the North Lushai area, established during the Lushai Hills Expedition of 1889-1890.
The Office was home to hundreds of valuable historical documents, instruments and objects, many of which were lost in the fire last year.