Gerard Houghton, Director of Special Projects, at October Gallery, will discuss Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga's new exhibition with Gabriela Salgado, independent curator and consultant.
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1991, Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga trained at the Kinshasa Academy of Arts and has gone on to found the dynamic Congolese art collective ‘M’Pongo’, representative of the creative vibrancy to be found in modern Kinshasa.
In his present series ‘Mangbetu’, Kamuanga Ilunga has explored the predicament of the Mangbetu people, an ethnic group of warrior extraction in the DRC, whose culture is being threatened by a desire to modernise. His paintings possess a monumental quality that is both heroic and elegiac, with a striking and sophisticated interplay of intensity and emptiness, two and three dimensions, and Congolese pattern painted as European drapery. Kamuanga Ilunga’s work has been exhibited across Africa and attracted enormous excitement at London’s 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in 2015 and at New York’s Armory Show in 2016. Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga was recently longlisted for the FT/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices Awards 2016.