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Hakanto Contemporary, Antananarivo, Madagascar, is pleased to present ‘LAMBA FOREVER MANDRAKIZAY’, an exhibition celebrating the definitive symbol of Malagasy culture – the Lamba textile.

LEFT: Untitled, 2023. © Kevin Ramorehatra for Hakanto Contemporary. RIGHT: Untitled, 2023. © Kevin Ramorehatra for Hakanto Contemporary

Honouring the traditional garment that embodies Malagasy habits, customs, memories and values, the exhibition explores the Lamba as a point of inspiration for various contemporary artworks, encompassing poetry, photography and painting.

Much more than just a traditional garment, the Lamba is both timeless and ubiquitous, crossing the ages and reinventing itself through the desires and inspirations of several generations. The woven cloth has long been a part of Malagasy culture, playing an integral role in social ritual and narratives of commemoration and communication.

Crafted mainly from silk, cotton or raffia, the Lamba is a piece of artisanal woven textile that varies in style between regions, gender and expression according to the wearer. The exhibition brings together works from fourteen multidisciplinary artists from various backgrounds in Madagascar:

  • Gad Bensalem (b.1991, Ambohitseheno)
  • Nadia Randriamorasata (b.1985, Montauban)
  • Tooj Nazaria (b.1993, Antananarivo)
  • Tsiry Irimbohangy (b.1998, Antananarivo)
  • Christian Sanna (b.1989, Nosy Be)
  • Jean Luc Raharimanana (b.1967, Antananarivo)
  • Jean-Yves Chen (b. 1962, Mananjary)
  • Kevin Ramarohetra (b.1995, Antananarivo)
  • A. Ramiandrasoa (c. 1930)
  • A. Rasamoelina (c. 1890)
  • Alphonse Rakotovao (c. 1880)
  • Gaston Rakotovao (1882-1941)
  • Clée Rabeharisoa (1931 – 2016, Mananjary)
  • Charlotte Razafindrakoto (b. 1932, Antananarivo).

Rather than presenting a historical survey of the garment, the exhibition explores the Lamba as a living element, a sensitive medium that continues to inspire contemporary artists today and beyond. Through ‘LAMBA FOREVER MANDRAKIZAY’, Hakanto Contemporary invites the public to engage in a multidisciplinary dialogue around the Lamba as an object of inherited knowledge and technique.

Curated by Joël Andrianomearisoa, Ludonie Velotrasina, and Rina Ralay Ranaivo, ‘LAMBA FOREVER MANDRAKIZAY’ is a multi-perspective dialogue that celebrates the Lamba as an eternal symbol of Malagasy culture and beyond.

Under the artistic direction of Joël Andrianomearisoa, Hakanto Contemporary is an independent, non-profit, artist-led space based in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Taking its name from the Malagasy word for “aesthetic,” Hakanto celebrates and supports artistic creativity in Madagascar through exhibitions, studio spaces, and residency programmes. Dedicated to showcasing the richness of contemporary Malagasy art, the 300m2 space – located in the Ankadimbahoaka district in the south of the capital – contributes to dialogues between local and international art scenes. Hakanto opened to local audiences in February 2020 and launched internationally in 2022.

Free to visit and open to all, Hakanto Contemporary offers a meeting place for artists and audiences across the globe. Alongside an ongoing exhibition programme of group and solo exhibitions showcasing work from Madagascar and beyond, Hakanto offers dedicated artist residency spaces and areas for artist production, experimentation, and creation. Working to accelerate exchange, strengthen skills and initiate creative projects that represent and support the local art scene, each exhibition is accompanied by an educational programme, including youth workshops and guided tours.

Hakanto Contewmporary is supported by the Fonds Yavarhoussen. Understanding that art and culture are essential pillars of development, Fonds Yavarhoussen promotes creativity for future generations.

The exhibition will be running from the 17th of June until the 14th of October, 2023. For more information, please visit Hakanto Contemporary.

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