Art in the Diaspora

Three Congolese Artists Illuminate Demif Gallery’s Collaborative Exhibition in France

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Three revolutionary Congolese artists are participating in a collaborative exhibition titled: “Fusion: The Alchemy of African Arts Today” at Demif Gallery., France. The exhibition embraces the aspects and alchemy of African arts, including African spirituality, values, etc. The three artists, Olivier Matuti, Papytsho Mafolo and Rachel Malaika, showcase a vibrant and culturally rich reality. The exhibition runs till the 29th of October at Demif Gallery, France.

This unique showcase is inspired by Rachel Malaika, whose artworks present a creative fusion between the three painters. Rachels’s artworks are a foundation for the exhibition as she seeks to champion and encourage artistic endeavours within her genre. The exhibition is also an ode to Congolese and African women today experiencing gender disparities within the global art market. Additionally, her artworks explore politics, the economy, spirituality, and culture.

Artist Profiles

Rachel Malaika Nkumisongo is a Kinshasa-based versatile artist specializing in photography. Yann Arthus-Bertrand and David Lachapelle influence her artworks, as she uses the camera to express her imagination. Her art served as therapy, helping her overcome childhood abuse and instilling courage and determination. She’s active in the Bokutani Artistes Réunis collective, dedicated to promoting contemporary art in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Rachel Malaika-UNTITLED, 2021. Photographie. 80cm x60 cm. Image courtesy of Demif Gallery.

Similarly, Pitsho Mafolo actively explores the interplay between cultural identity and human behaviour in his art. He questions cultural identity crises and the historical heritage of societies, with a focus on African culture. His paintings often feature fragments of bodies, symbolizing the realities of African culture fragmented by foreign influences. Mafolo is open-minded, readily experimenting with new styles and techniques, reflecting the energy that emerges in his works. He was born in Kinshasa, Congo.

Pitsho Mafolo – LES SIAMOISES, 2019
Acrylic on canvas
42cm x 30cm

Lastly, Olivier Matuti, a key contributor to the Librisme revolution, continues to integrate the influences of Globalisation into his rich African-inspired works. Born in 1973 in Kinshasa, Congo, his artistic exploration began at a tender age. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Kinshasa, graduating in 1999. While his art showcases a strong connection to his homeland’s culture, Matuti skillfully integrates global influences into his pieces. He meticulously assesses diverse values and creatively interprets them.

Olivier Matuti – ELEGANCE, 2019
Mixed media on canvas
180cm x 180cm

As “Fusion: The Alchemy of African Arts Today” unfolds, it showcases the power of artistic collaboration and highlights the potential for social change and gender equality within the art world. This exhibition stands as a testament to the boundless creativity that emerges when diverse talents converge, driving innovation and transformation in the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary art. Check out this amazing body of work by accessing the Demif Gallery’s website.

Author

Rose Mwikali Musyoki is a creative writer from Nairobi, Kenya. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business and Finance from the University of Embu, Kenya, and is the founder of Bloom Inc, an art startup in Kenya. Currently, she works as a writer for Art News Africa.

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