Congo Kitoko 1926-2015
« This exhibition is the result of coincidence and need. Coincidence of the contact between men, Congolese and European, separated by their roots, their culture, and the need of following the thread thorough 90 years of history to present what they have produced: the amount of mostly unknown magistral artwork, that testifies of the artistic ardour of Congo, ignored until now ».
« Cette exposition est le fruit du hasard et de la nécessité. Le hasard des contacts entre des hommes, des Congolais et des Européens, séparés par leurs racines, leur culture, et la nécessité d’en suivre le fil tout au long d’une histoire de 90 ans pour présenter ce qu’ils ont produit: cette somme d’oeuvres magistrales, demeurées inconnues pour la plupart, qui témoignent de l’ardeur artistique du Congo, ignorée jusqu’ici ».
Today is the last article about this passionated and very rich theme, Africa. I feel a little sad about having to finish it, because I learned so much that I almost feel different. I met so many interesting and different people, and I discovered an unknown culture until the moment for me; after one month (and not one week as it normally has to be) reading and doing research about all the different origins of their printed fabrics, their art, food, jewellery, culture, ethnic groups and geography, now I feel familiar to a continent and a culture misunderstood by almost the other half of the planet. Now when I take the metro and go to some neighbourhoods habited by Afro communities here in Paris (that some persons don’t like to visit we have to be honest, racism is sadly still present in 2015 in our society) I feel so happy to understand or at least to identify what’s the meaning of their prints and why and how they wear them, even in a country far from theirs, far from their heart and their roots belong. Far from where they were born.
Last thursday we visited La Fondation Cartier and the exhibition » Beauté Congo » (Congo’s Beauty) 1926-2015 Congo Kitoko which celebrates the artistic richness there: paintings, comics, photography, sculpture, music, and even architectural models are glorified in this retrospective of 90 years of creation. From the mid-1920’s when some regions were still a Belgian colony to our contemporary period of time, this exhibition weaves like a gigantic piece of fabric almost a century of colourful imagination in this central part of Africa.
And of course, this article is focused on different types of colourful pagnes and wax prints we can find on the paintings. To visit the rest of the exhibition and discovery the missing parts of the exhibition like the photography in our article, rendez-vous at La Fondation Cartier if you are in Paris. And for more information about the exhibition you can read it on their website here.
PS: a very special THANKS to La Fondation Cartier for their warm welcoming and for their precious information, help from their staff when I needed and for the beautiful catalog I had
Let’s start this visit on the ground floor >>>
Here’s a series of artwork by Jean Paul Mika
Sorry, I couldn’t decide which view I liked the most so I put both
Peace & Unity
Love at first (sunny) sight 😉
And this is what we discovered on the lower floor >>>
And in conclusion, this is what we think about the exhibition:
And for the end, a song that is not necessary from Congo, but from the Caribean region which is still as juicy and warm as African music. And the graphic design of the clip is perfect to conclude our African printspiration month and it will introduce our next print theme. Stay tuned!