New Era (Windhoek)

18 May 2012

Namibia: Papa's Exhibit Opens

opinion

Windhoek — Over the last two decades Ndasuunje Shikongeni, better known as Papa Shikongeni has become famous for his cardboard print-making, sculptures as well as his music.

His Art Is a U solo exhibition has been showing at the House of Art at Maerua Mall since May 9 and closes in May 31. His cardboard prints have found high acclaim in Namibian, as well as in international collections. The exhibition is a is a mixture of zip arts and ink on paper mixed media and collage to step into the new approach and innovation of art. Papa says it is time to move on and think out of the bridles.

After his work was recognised as Judge Special Mention at Bank Windhoek's Triennial Exhibition last September, Papa was inspired to make a collection of his new 'Zip Art' work called Silence. He was inspired by the patchwork of the Nama/Damara as well as by his childhood memories which were items of clothing simply patched and not bought as new. "We waste so much these days," Papa comments smilingly. "I would like to inspire fashion designers, seamstresses and other people in the clothing industry to create art and recycle their waste material when there is not enough business for them. That is what I regard as art," he appeals.

His zip arts are not just a new medium but the idea or concept behind the work has become more emphasised taking the focus from the "quality and creativity to the idea", he says. Some of the works will be interactive with the viewer's making them participate in the artwork showing a great move towards new international trends of participatory/interactive zip art.

Besides his zip art, Papa has exhibited a new ink on paper mixed media and collage artworks that were well received during his last two exhibitions. This work is mainly inspired by his inner child, his being, printing ink technique and the rhythms of his music. The work was created in the moment with emphasis on spiritual expressions.

"Come and be inspired by Papa Shikongeni's music, his new ideas and approach to art and discover the artists in yourself, as suggested by the title 'Art Is a U'.

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