Artist Talk: Collin Sekajugo and Joel Lukhovi talk about “Supply & Demand”

Tuesday 22nd November 2016 (2pm – 4pm)

Born in 1980, in Masaka, Uganda, Collin Sekajugo is a Kampala based Ugandan-Rwandan artist. His work draws on his immediate socio-economic context, acting as commentary for the events he witnesses in his environment. He sees his work as a reflection of his social conscience, focusing on the link between art and community, and the desire to improve conditions of living in Africa. His belief in the transformative power of art led him to establish the first contemporary arts centre in Rwanda, Ivuka Arts Kigali. The space offers training, exposure, and community to young artists, nurturing Rwanda’s next generation of artists and cultural practitioners.

Sekajugo has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions in Nairobi, Johannesburg, London, New York, and Barcelona. His work is displayed permanently at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, and features in several private and corporate collections in East Africa, South Africa, the USA, and Japan, among others.

Joel Lukhovi is a Nairobi-based visual artist, working predominantly in photography and text. For Lukhovi, visual identity and community are co-extensive, and this manifests in his unrelenting investigations into the rhythms and patterns of daily life. A self-taught artist, Lukhovi’s initial encounter with photography was in engineering school. He has since ventured into a variety of media and styles. A key aspect of his practice is the organization of creative interventions that promote exchanges across traditional and modern international platforms.

These concerns have seen him take on an ongoing trans-continental project, African Cityzens, which has moved across Zanzibar, Eastern and the greater Southern Africa regions making photographs related to the shaping of African identity and sensibility in cities through conversations and everyday performances. He has exhibited and participated in art shows, workshops and residencies in his home country Kenya, as well as in Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Somaliland, South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, Germany and France.
Urban areas are spaces of constant motion, where interactions are often guided by the possibility of individual gain in a consumption-driven culture. People move from one point to another, and then to another. Objects change hands, and at times the nature of the objects themselves changes too. It is these encounters, interactions, and exchanges that are of interest in Supply & Demand. In Collin Sekajugo’s paintings and found-object sculptures, and Joel Lukhovi’s photographs there’s an exploration of the way we move in and through the urban space; working, building, adapting, living.

Collin Sekajugo adopts the jerrycan, a commonplace, immediately recognizable object, as a recurring motif in his paintings, and as the base for his found object sculptures. Sekajugo expands the meaning of this everyday object, using its ubiquity, and its multiple functionality to comment on the need to constantly innovate and adapt in a competitive, consumerist culture. He manipulates its form to create multiple objets d’art that convey messages of social strife and transformation. With this notion of a jerrycaned life, Sekajugo comments on the various ways we operate in urban areas, telling a story of constant change and adaptation.

Joel Lukhovi’s photography practice documents social life by capturing everyday items, locations, and events. The images presented here, taken around different suburban locations in Nairobi foreground the mundane. The images of housing complexes, miscellaneous objects piled high, and bustling activity offer a glimpse into the encounters that form the fabric of the urban, the touchstones, in the viewers’ mind, of city life.

Wambui Kamiru

Wambui is the founder of The Art Space and drives the vision for the space.

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