Published 22 May 2023 in News
Duende Art Projects
'Transient Beings - Contemporary African Art and the Human Form' Group Exhibition
Duende Art Projects
Vlaamsekaai 39, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
18 May - 11 June 2023
With the curated group show “Transient beings. Contemporary African art and the human form”, Duende Art Projects brings together the work of five emerging African artists: Soro Kafana (b. 1991, Ivory Coast), Mohammed Arrhioui (b. 1995, Morocco), Beatrice Wanjiku (b. 1978, Kenya), Mostaff Muchawaya (b. 1981, Zimbabwe), and Sibusiso Ngwazi (b. 1999, South Africa). Each explores the human form through their own unique artistic language. To understand the transient nature of being is to accept that we are all just passing through one phase of our life after another. These artists investigate the many planes of existence, past and present, we navigate through. Each plane exists for us as a transient phase, but the entire process takes a lifetime. A continuous growth as a person is fundamental to the human experience. Life is transient, yet art tries to capture its fleeting instants and this continuous process of transformation.
With his chainsaw the Ivorian artist Soro Kafana sculpts enigmatic deconstructed figures from large blocks of indigenous acacia wood. Omitting the heads, the sculptures bring fascinating new interpretations of the human physique where negative space is just as important as the positive. The raw, untreated surface of the wood, imperfections included, mirrors our own flaws and limitations. This human fragility is exactly also what the Casablanca-based artist Mohammed Arrhioui tries to capture in his works. We present a group of new works by this emerging Moroccan artist, created during his recent residence at SAFFCA.EU in Brussels, in which he explores the vulnerability of human beings. Through compositions of anonymous bodies, composed from brittle bits of eggshells, Arrhioui expresses and reveals with great modesty a state of inner growth.
Investigating the human psyche, the evocative paintings from Beatrice Wanjiku capture mental states of being through explorations of the physical appearance. Her layered paintings waver between figuration and abstraction with a provocative rawness. Mostaff Muchawaya in his turn creates captivating multi-layered portraits of loved ones with a unique technique mirroring the act of disremembering. Muchawaya paints impressions of half- remembered experiences that are integral to his own identity. Among the continent’s forerunning abstract painters, Sibusiso Ngwazi captivates the subconscious. With his bold, spontaneous strokes he successfully captures our constantly changing nature and the depth of our inner worlds.
In “Transient beings. Contemporary African art and the human form”, these five artists each in their own personal way scrutinize the human experience, their work functioning as a mirror of who we are. The universality of the evoked feelings celebrates the importance of contemporary African perspectives within the global art world.
The exhibition will be open during Antwerp Art Weekend, opening on May 18th until May 21st, with over 70 venues all over Antwerp. Find out more about the event here. “Transient beings” continues until June 11th, open Thursday to Sunday, from 1pm until 6pm, and by appointment.