Kiluanji Kia Henda is an autodidact which a profound springboard into this realm comes from growing up in a household of photography enthusiasts.His conceptual edge was sharpened by immersing himself into music, avant-garde theater and collaborating with a collective of artists in Luanda. Kia Henda has participated in several residencies programs and in the following selected exhibitions: Triennial of Luanda, 2007; Check List Luanda Pop, African Pavilion, Biennale of Venice, 2007; Farewell to Post-Colonialism, Trien- nial of Guangzhou, 2008; There is always a cup of sea to sail in, 29th São Paulo Biennial, 2010; Tomorrow Was Already Here, Tamayo Museum, Mexico City, 2012; Les Prairies – Les Ateliers de Rennes, 2012; Mondays Begins On Saturday, First Bergen Triennial, 2013; The Shadows Took Form, The Studio Museum of Harlem, New York, 2013; The Divine Comedy, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, 2014; Surround Audience, New Museum Triennial, New York, 2015. In 2012 he won the National Award for Culture and the Arts from the Angolan Ministry of Culture.
Zohra Opoku (DE/GH) is an Accra-based versatile artist whose work employs media including installations, photography and video to explore the sophistication of textile cultures in disparate spaces targeting fashion’s political and psychological role and socio-cultural dynamics in relation to African history and individualistic or societal identities.
This experience enroots her aesthetic practice into sculptural modules as her [in]direct social commentary as seen in THE BILLBOARDPROJECT, composed of big scale installations of second-hand clothes which were displayed in central Accra. She is employing metaphors of repetition and disguise in her portrait series TEXTURES and SIDESPECIFIC presented in specifically identified locations.
Opoku holds an MA (2003) in Fashion from the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. Her residencies include Art OMI, Ghent (NY/2012)/, Iwalewa Haus Bayreuth (DE/2013) and Jan van Eyck Institute (NL/2014). Opoku was recently awarded a fellowship for the Kala Institute Berkeley (CA/2015). She is included in the touring group exhibitions Making Africa (2015-20) curated by Amelie Klein and Okwui Enwezor. Upcoming exhibitions include the Material Effects curated by Yesomi Umolu at Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan and Designing Futures curated by Christina de Middel at the LagosPhoto Festival 2015.
Miriam Syowia Kyambi (b.1979) is a multi-media artist of Kenyan and German heritage based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her work combines performance with impermanent and permanent mediums including clay, sisal, paint and photography. Much of her work dissects and brings to question perception and memory. She examines how the contemporary human experience is influenced by constructed history, past and present violence, colonialism, family and sexuality.
Often the result is an orchestration that engages the viewer in a dynamic process that leaves behind a powerful visual impression.
Syowia graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA (2002) where she resided for five years before returning to Kenya in 2003.
She has been the recipient of several prestigious awards and grants including 2nd place in the UNESCO Award for the Promotion of the Arts; the Art in Global Health Grant from the Welcome Trust Fund in United Kingdom; a grant from Mexico’s External Ministry of Affairs; and commissions by the Kenya Institute of Administration, the National Museums of Kenya and the Art 4 Action Foundation in Kenya. Her work has been shown in Belgium, Finland, Kenya, Mali, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States of America.
by Nabila Alibhai