Text by Sammy Baloji and Sandrine Colard and Gerard Houghton and Gabriela Salgado, Foreword by Gus Casely-Hayford
The first international monograph dedicated to Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, one of the most enterprising and exciting young artists working in Africa today.
Eddy Kamuanga’s large-scale figurative paintings display a wealth of historical understanding in a sophisticated interplay of strikingly colored forms juxtaposed on gray negative space.
Kamuanga’s work taps into the rich yet complex colonial history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or DRC. His politically nuanced and culturally sensitive work explores the seismic shifts in economic, political, and cultural identity in the DRC since colonization. Increasingly globalized in outlook, many in the DRC today are rejecting their ancestral heritage in favor of modernity, a conflict that fuels Kamuanga’s work.
The DRC is the world’s largest exporter of coltan, a mineral critical to the production of computer chips and mobile phones. In all of Kamuanga’s works, the skin of each figure is embedded with integrated circuits, referring to the harsh conditions experienced by workers who mine coltan by hand.
Eddy Kamuanga has been recognized internationally as one of the most interesting young contemporary African talents of today, and his reputation is growing fast worldwide.
His work has been shown across Africa, notably at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA), South Africa, and has been included in exhibitions in Europe and the United States, at institutions such as Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles; Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire; Saatchi Gallery, London; and Royal Academy of Arts, London. He is represented by October Gallery, London.
About The Author
Sammy Baloji is an international contemporary artist. Sandrine Colard is a historian of modern and contemporary African arts. Gerard Houghton is director of special projects at October Gallery. Gabriela Salgado is a curator based in London. Gus Casely-Hayford is a museum director, cultural historian, broadcaster, and lecturer.