Category: Visual Art

Ras Kasozi’s road to Vancouver

Winning an award at a big fashion show like the Vancouver Fashion Week can be a daunting task. More so if you are little known at home, barely in your thirties and your siblings think you are nothing more than a tailor. By far, his claim to being known locally as a fashion designer was a small stint at the Bayimba International Festival 2010 where his collection came out as the best. This is Ras Kasozi’s road to international fame, and it started humbly.

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Nudity? It is Artistic Expression and Free Speech (part I)

In this first part of a three-part essay, Angelo Kakende relates the recent Nude 2012-exhibition at FasFas to former Nude 2000 and Nude 2001-exhibitions held at Nommo Gallery. He looks beyond the claim for the aesthetic appeal, and attends two ways in which the production and circulation of the nude in contemporary Ugandan art in general and nude exhibitions in particular fuses the line between aesthetics and pornography; art and non-art.

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Kampala Contemporary Art Festival: Setting new trends in art exhibitions

“It had never occurred to me that setting up twelve shipping containers across the city could account for a festival, but it certainly did when the shipping containers were translated into art exhibition points. This was the Kampala Contemporary Art Festival dubbed ‘12 artists, 12 locations’ and it ran from 7th-14th October with a theme ‘12 Boxes Moving’.” Elizabeth Namakula reviews.

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Fred Mutebi: Art – Bargaining for woman

“The series in this collection are meant to inspire Ugandans and well-wishers to think about giving a woman the opportunity to attend to Uganda’s problems for at least five years come 2016 in order for Uganda to recuperate as well as inspire the upcoming artists to have a new approach to depicting women in their artwork so that we give the women the kind of dignity they most deserve.” Visual artist Fred Mutebi writes for startjournal.

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Awesome! An Art School that is wholesome

Renowned Batik artist Nuwa Wamala Nnyanzi has visited the Western Michigan University and writes for startjournal about his journey: “Our discussion touched so many areas of mutual interest. Applied art, the role of art in community development, art therapy, graphic design, textile art—especially batik—and a host of others. The discussion also touches on the centuries old debate of what is and what is not art? We seem to agree that art is best described and appreciated in a cultural context.”

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Visionary Africa – Art at Work: Itinerant exhibition platform in African capitals

September 19-October 14, 2012, Kampala Railway Station Gardens

This project includes an itinerant urban exhibition of contemporary African artistic practices, residencies for African artists, and workshops on the relation between art and the development of modern urban centres in Africa. One of its aims is to highlight the importance of culture and creativity as development tools. This initiative is part of the strategic partnership between the EU and the African Union.

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DaudiMzili Twin Exhibition: A Dichotomy of Creativity or Paradox of Mutual Confusion?

“Having attended the same university and only separated by a handful of years; having exhibited in nearly the same galleries and influenced by the same patronage system, this pair comes across as archetypal artistic bedfellows. They seem to have suckled from the same breast of contemporary art awareness and their styles are scarcely singular.” Nathan Kiwere reviews Daudimzili for Startjournal.

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Uganda’s Independence Monuments at 50

Perhaps one day Ugandan artists and citizens will honor Maloba and his vision by reappropriating Independence Monument from its current appropriation, even theft, by the NRM as a rallying place for reflection on the 50 years of betrayals of the original promise of independence. Armed with the social media that Ugandan artists utilize so effectively, they may give birth to a new generation of promise to transform Uganda. What will their monuments, the monuments for the next 50 years of independence, look like?

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Felix Magima: Just the eyes

Felix Magima confronts two important, though rarely addressed, subjects in his recent exhibition at the AKA Gallery; women and religion. As his artworks speak, they often wade into taboo territories, therefore observing a new place, rarely approached by visual artists in Uganda. His new paintings “scream out” for freedom for women and the poor enslaved by religious commercialism. Serubiri Moses reviews for Startjournal.

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Bruno Ruganzu: Winner of the TED Prize City 2.0 in Doha

On 17th April 2012, in Doha, Bruno Ruganzu was announced winner of the TEDx competition TED Prize for City 2.0 at the TEDx Summit in Qatar. City 2.0 is about creating ideas that can change your city. Innovation, education, culture and economic opportunity were its key fundamentals. Among the five finalists from Egypt, Canada, South Africa and Pakistani, Bruno had only two minutes to raise the Ugandan flag high.

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Edison Mugalu’s art: The serendipity of success

“I have been following the trends in Uganda’s visual environment in the last decade, with keen interest and I have noted something rather distinct. While the events in art that made headlines in the period of economic recovery (1986-2000) were led by seasoned artists with predictable results, those in the last decade have been dominated by younger artists most of whom in the early stages of their careers. … Edison Mugalu typifies this cadre of younger artists who have taken to making art as their full time employment and many have made a success of it. Their work exhibit a bold and aggressive attitude which is also reflected in their marketing strategies.” Professor George Kyeyune reviews Mugalu’s work for startjournal.

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Arts and Heritage: Who owns what? Why we have to (be) care(fully)?

In the world of arts and culture nowadays, the term ‘heritage’ seems to be everywhere. Every country has its National Heritage, Tourist Guides are advertising World Heritage, and so on. If someone referrs to ‘heritage’, is it about preserving traditional knowlegde or is it about making money? What is this ‘heritage’ all about? Does an artist inherit something? Or a people?

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Turning Trash into Treasure

A city flooded with litter is great news for the creatives. Artists should look for waste materials in their immediate surroundings, take advantage of the built-in shapes, colours and textures of ordinary rubbish, and treat the piles of litter as a main source of inspiration. These were some of the messages delivered by some of Uganda’s finest artists at the first TEDx-conference hosted in Kampala.

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