16 July 2009

Uganda: Tulifanya Unleashes New Artistic Talent

Kampala — THE visual arts scene continues to discover new artists, but not necessarily new talent. As you will realise at the Discoveries 2009 Art Exhibit opening tomorrow at Tulifanya Gallery, artists and painters influence each other so much that you can hardly tell the work of some of them apart.

Good or bad influence? This is subject to debate.

At this exhibition, new artists are hoping to launch their careers into the art world. Yusuf Ngula, Philip Wacha and Hassan Mukiibi are part of a group of 12 painters taking part in the one-month show.

Their work is executed with bits of insights in daily life; the themes therein revolve around daily activities as well as political questions.

Artists like Ngula stand out for their mature, careful execution of ideas. His palette enjoys intense, intricate line schemes, colourful patterns and traditional symbols of African art.

On the other hand, Wacha tends to perpetuate already established styles. His realist watercolours are a telling continuation of a somewhat familiar style akin to that of Taaga Nuwagaba.

Artists like Yusuf Ssali reinvent themselves, albeit in a narrow sense from the bright single colour depiction of women to a richer and vibrant palette of small symbolic images with a Sudanese influence that seems all the rage among many young artists.

And herein lays the problem. Young artists seem to be taking from their more established colleagues, with often no attempt to add meaningful value.

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