12/09/2012: EMBASSY HOLDS STRANDED FISH & MASKS ON WHEELCHAIRS ART EXHIBITION
From August 30th- September 7th, 2012 the Embassy held an art exhibition titled 'Stranded Fishes & Masks on Wheelchairs' by Malawi artist Massa Lemu.
The paintings in the exhibition used the Gule Wamkulu Mask of the Chewa peoples of Malawi as a departure point to talk about a range of themes such as inclusion and exclusion, determination and resilience. The show also comprised of pictures that use the image of the fish, chambo in particular, to talk about migration, exploitation, and pollution. The artist was inspired to use the image of the fish as metaphor for migration and pollution when he saw East African Tilapia fishes in the polluted concrete bayous of Houston in 2010.
R- Ambassador Steve Matenje, L- Ms. Yvonne Kalumo , M- Dr. Edward Katemba who after the exhibition purchased a piece titled 'Mbiya Zadooka'
The art work therefore fuses natural and imaginary elements to create compositions that hover between the concrete and the abstract, the familiar and the unfamiliar. They combine the real and the surreal to comment on migration, consumption and the effects of exploitative human activity on nature.
Mr. Lemu is a visual artist whose multi-disciplinary practice takes the form of painting, drawing, and performance-based installations. He received his Bachelor of Education Degree (with a major in Fine Arts) from the University of Malawi in 2003 and Master of Arts in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design (USA) in 2009. He has shown his work in a number of venues in Malawi and the United States. His work has been reviewed in publications including OffCite, Reflections and Steve Chimombo’s book titled Aids, Artists and Authors. He has also taught courses in painting and art history at Chancellor College of University of Malawi and Rice University in Houston, Texas.
Mr. Lemu was a Critical Studies Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston from the year 2010 to 2012 where he researched and published about contemporary African art.