AKKA (A Kostic Khachatourian Art) Project is a commercial gallery and project space that represents and supports artists predominantly from the African continent and its diaspora, increasing opportunities for artists to introduce their work to new geographies.
Baraka Joseph Mutukus, Untitled. Acrylic on canvas, 150 x 130cm. Courtesy of the artist & AKKA Project.
On the occasion of the 59th Venice Art Biennale, AKKA Project is thrilled to announce ‘African Identities’. This group exhibition aims to highlight the importance of the Arts and Artists from the African Continent. The seven-month-long exhibition will run from April to November 2022.
The first edition of ‘African Identities’ spotlights the art scene of some of the East African countries Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mozambique. Counting on so many different ethnic groups and cultures, talents, and styles, AKKA Project aims to present and gather these many artists, including established and young talents, under one roof, giving them an opportunity for fruitful dialogues. Each territory has mastered its unique distinctiveness. Individually each has bloomed from the fertile soil and risen to diverse original contemporary artists who masterfully experiment with new subjects, styles, and materials. AKKA Project aspires to create a unique and enriching experience, allowing visitors to discover the artists’ stories and works in Venice during the period of La Biennale 2022. The seven-month-long exhibition comprises of five chapters. Chapter II of African Identities is scheduled to run from 6 June to 15 July 2022.
We have included the list of participating artists for Chapter II of ‘African Identities’ group exhibition.
Participating Artists for Chapter II of ‘African Identities’:
Elias Mung’ora was born in 1992 in Nyeri, Kenya, and he currently lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya. His work is mostly inspired by life in the urban space of Nairobi with paintings, drawings, photography and wood cut prints being his principal media.
Hilda Mumbi, artist name, Wambui Mumbi, was born in 1997 and is a Kenyan-based artist. Her art style stands between contemporary and surrealism. She uses her art to express her feelings, insecurities, happy memories, and the values that she believes in.
Nadia Wamunyu was born in 1993 in Nairobi, Kenya where she currently lives and works. Nadia experiments with ink, coffee, pastel, charcoal, chlorine and water colours.Her works address extreme cases of identity crisis among most young African women, who are not confident in their skin color and bodies.
Allan ‘Think’ Kioko is a visual artist, illustrator and muralist based at the Karen Village, Nairobi, Kenya. He is an expressive painter and a lover of bold strokes, colour and texture.He draws inspiration from his own life experiences and places he’s been to.
Baraka, stage name for Baraka Joseph Mutukus, is a contemporary artist born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. He experiments with vibrant colours and a contemporary surrealist style.His inspiration comes from the human interactions he observes and his art gives us images of a culture he was surrounded by in his youth in Kenya.
Jimmy Kitheka was born in 1993 in Kenya, he currently lives in Ngong and works in Nairobi. Jimmy is an impressionistic artist captivated by landscapes and oneiric scenarios. His work allows us to travel back in time to stories told by his grandfather and father. Stories that retrace life in Nairobi in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
Micahel Soi was born in Nairobi, Kenya where he still currently lives and works. His work offers a diary of Nairobi and is a satirical commentary on social, economic and political conditions and developments. His work explores connections – across generations, between different ethnic groups, commercial sex work and social interaction.
Paul Njihia is a self taught artist based at the Kobo Trust Studios in Nairobi, Kenya. Njihia is now working on a series titled The Student. In the artworks, he tries to capture the familiar school environment and school activities that everyone is familiar with in an effort to evoke emotions on what school meant to the viewer.
Rodrigo Mabunda was born in 1985 in Mozambique where he still currently lives and works. Rodrigo gives a second life to those objects that most of us would consider simple waste. He recovers and revives these forgotten objects through his vibrant and powerful creativity and transforms them into art.
Tafadzwa Gwetai is a Zimbabwean visual artist, painter, sculptor, and curator who works in oil paint, mixed media, and found objects. Gwetai explores the human condition and how mankind has redefined themselves and their basic existence.
Longinos Nagila was born in 1986 in Kenya and currently lives and works in Nairobi. Longino is an experimental multimedia visual artist and his work is influenced by a deep love of early cinema and black and white photography, which he blends with paint and transferred images on paper and canvas.
Onyis Martin was born in 1987 in Kisumu, Kenya but currently lives and works in Nairobi. Martin is deeply connected to contemporary urban society, his paintings, sculptures, and works on paper explore, portray and reflect on current issues affecting not only the African continent but the world as a whole.
Luís Sozinho (Luís João Sozinho), born in 1988 in the Province of Nampula in Mozambique. His series the contemporary fantasy explores the individual and collective personalities and search for escape amid barriers and everyday ambitions.
The Second Chapter will be on view from the 6th of June until the 15th of July 2022. For more information, please visit AKKA Project.