Art Yak with CHANDA MWENYA
ON A global platform where certain traditions and cultures are threatened with extinction, it is just inevitable to preserve and promote celebrated heritage.
The Zambia National Visual Arts Council (VAC), in collaboration with the National Arts Council of Zambia (NAC) has joined efforts to showcase works of some of the country’s celebrated artists in a three-month long exhibition scheduled to open next month at the African Studies Gallery in Tel Aviv, Israel.
The Zambian everyday life and its captivating landscape has carefully been illustrated by the likes of Albert Kata, with his realistic painting that usually depicts the scenery on the sidelines of the Zambian cities while Zenzele Chulu’s thoughtful Schematic Tantrums, inspired by the Egyptian hieroglyphics and southern African rock art will give the viewer the insight of African visual culture that combines aesthetics and intellectuality.
Ngandwe Mwaba illustrates the Zambian story with fine figures juxtaposed against somewhat abstract silhouettes through a style that he has mastered with resilient studio practice while Mwamba Chikwemba’s bright portraits that she creates with a rare freedom of colour application radiate the warmth and hospitality of the Zambian people.
Ignatius Sampa’s works bring to the fore the fusion of African tradition and modernity, using the Makishi masquerade as a metaphor. The late Ignatius defied the traditions around the Makishi and placed it in unconventional and rather satirical scenes. Imagine a picture of a Likishi playing poker. Well in the virtue world of Ignatius, the Makishi are at the centre of modernity.
Also in the exhibition are sculptures by Sydney Siansangu, which are crafted from ebony and tick wood.
It is a well-placed exhibition, as the statement by Ronnie Netanel-Magen David, indicates in a statement below:
“The first Zambia Arts and Cultural Exhibition will be held in Tel Aviv, Israel. The exhibition will run from February to May, 2018. The official opening is scheduled for March 3, 2018. Forty one (41) paintings from thirteen (13) artists have been delivered to Israel facilitated by Magen David Zambia Israel Initiative, National Arts Council of Zambia and the Zambia Embassy in Tel Aviv in preparation for the exhibition to be held at the prestigious African Studies Gallery on 46 Rothschild’s Street Tel Aviv on the 22nd floor.
“The exhibition aims at exposing Zambia’s cultural heritage as well as promoting cultural exchange between Zambia and Israel. It is our view that such an art exhibition in Israel whereby Zambian artists of different ages and background present their life experiences and hopes, is a key to elevating fruitful and better relations among the people of both countries.
“As some say ‘with art comes appetite for tourism and for business opportunities’, the exhibition is also an opportunity to promote Zambia’s tourism potential. The exhibition is expected to attract the corporate world, embassies, academia and high level officials from Zambia and the state of Israel. The exhibition is therefore an opportunity to familiarise the Israeli public with the culture of Zambia thereby strengthening tourism, culture and business relations between Zambia and Israel while exposing Zambia’s rich talent in art.
“For Eidan Group, Magen David Zambia Israel Initiative, which was formed among others to promote cultural exchange between the two countries, and Development Network Associates Limited (DNA) Zambia Limited, this is only the beginning of more cultural exchanges between Zambia and Israel.
“As for DNA Zambia, one of its aims is to finalise the establishment of the energy saving farm in Lusaka at which among other targets, artists will have free access to material and space to express their art. This is part of the Magen David Zambia Israel Initiative Agenda for 2020. The Zambia Embassy in Tel Aviv in conjunction with Magen David Zambia Israel Initiative has also invited the corporate sector in Israel in promoting the exhibition”.