Six questions for
Jean Katambayi Mukendi

Tique | art paper asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Jean Katambayi Mukendi.

Artist Jean Katambayi Mukendi
Lives in Lubumbashi, Congo

How do you describe your own artistic practice?

I apply parameters of time, energy and space to conduct the rite of the works. The approach leading to the attachment of the work respects the alignment of the personality and the knowledge of nature. In my work, one can recognize the algorithms describing the diverse situation of society, making appear futuristic aspects. My art is content transformed into a container.

Which question or theme is central in your work?

My practice adheres to the context of societal transformation. Society is a complex notion to define. The connection between the stipulations or decisions and the daily practices of the economical, political, educational inhabitants of Earth presents some images questioning the future. Humans bet on the conservation, the survival of the environment via the manipulation of energy to the conquest of space.

What was your first experience with art?

More than thirty years ago, I created a label that remained my pseudonym for some time, called BANORANCIT. It is a composition based on prefixes of fruit. It was a projection of an enterprise of fruit transformation. Up until today I still feel its impact. It is the fact of seeing the mother promoting the virtues of fruit, contrarily to a prototyped fruit, that motivated me.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

The main source of inspiration is the permanent questioning of the equation of our society, that seems dichotomous. During childhood, I was worried about the future of the paternalist society shown by the rests of colonization. Today, it is a world living its contradictions wanting to satisfy the function of interventionism. Luckily, cultural and racial diversity maintains its perfume.

What do you need in order to create your work?

First, the research preceding creation requires the person which in this case is the artist I represent. I take time to tailor ideas for a process and philosophy making the link to society. Then there are exchanges with the population to touch the reflection of nature. Finally, I can go over to the stage of creation, gathering the material and organizing the time of the studio.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

Ai Weiwei has recently articulated about the South-North migration phenomenon by sculpting a dangerous vessel. He wanted to show the realism of a topical issue diving the world’s opinions. What surprised me in the idea of Weiwei is that at the same time, I thought about how to present migrant by a more surrealist image, an image provoking iterations of interpretation with the visitor.

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