[EXHIBITION 展覽] Colours of Congo: Patterns, Symbols and Narratives in 20th-Century Congolese Paintings 剛果色彩:二十世紀剛果繪畫的圖案、象徵與敘事

23/02/2021 - 09:30 - 29/08/2021 - 18:00



展覽有賴前所未有的檔案和藝術收藏,讓我們能透過一位來自比利時的藝術家Georges Thiry ,當時於剛果伊利莎白維爾市( 現稱盧本巴希) 開辦的工作坊,和他與原居民共同創作的藝術品,概觀二十世紀剛果的繪畫。其後同類型的工作坊相繼成立,並促進多元藝術形式的出現,顯赫一時。

歐洲繪畫對剛果的影響始於Georges Thiry。Thiry 自1926年開始為比利時殖民政府工作,他在伊利莎白維爾看到一系列繪有鱷魚和鳥類圖案的壁畫後,到處打聽後結識了壁畫藝術家 Albert Lubaki ,尤其對由 Lubaki 夫婦和其他藝術社群成員的創作深感著迷。


香港大學非洲研究課程暫任助理教授 Dr Estela Ibáñez-García:「是次展覽將展出一系列剛果繪畫,為觀眾提供多樣化的觀點與角度來了解剛果於殖民時期複雜的現實。這些觀點與角度揭示現實是一種基於個人如何詮釋自身經歷的建構。經歷總是充滿主觀色彩的,透露了個人自我意識是怎樣接收各種事物。可是,這本圖錄收錄的文章證明了我們可以通過藝術跨過此狹隘的主觀領域。只要我們仔細觀賞這些畫作,便會發現剛果藝術家是如何在殖民時期闡述和表達個人經歷;若以一種具批判性的視角來解讀歐洲人是怎樣使用和詮釋這些創作,也可以從中窺探出他們的世界觀。」


地點:香港薄扶林般咸道90號 港大美術博物館徐展堂樓1樓
電話/ 電郵:(852) 2241 5500 (一般查詢) / [email protected]

The exhibition is now extended to 29 August 2021.

"Colours of Congo: Patterns, Symbols and Narratives in 20th-Century Congolese Paintings" displays a selection of Congolese work created from the 1920s to 1960.

Thanks to unprecedented access to extensive archives and art collections, the exhibition’s narrative presents a generous overview of paintings that were instigated when a single artist from Belgium began a painting workshop so as to collaborate with the indigenous population of Elisabethville (modern-day Lubumbashi). This first studio was followed by other workshops that assisted in developing a hybrid artform that remains a celebrated phenomenon.

The European influence of painting first began with Georges Thiry, who worked for Belgium’s colonial administration starting in 1926. In Elisabethville, Thiry had noticed a series of painted murals of crocodiles and birds. He inquired about the artist and was introduced to Albert Lubaki. Thiry was fascinated by the artist Lubaki, his wife, and the other community members who continued to document their connection to the natural world through wall paintings.

The exhibition and accompanying volume of essays primarily examines this group of paintings as artworks worth considering on their own merits—describing their techniques and inherent beauty, while acknowledging that their iconographic contents reflect daily life within village communities. The juxtaposition of European artists and artistic materials brought to Africa, and the display of African paintings in European art metropolises, initiated decades of intense collaboration and cultural exchange.

Temporary assistant professor in the African Studies Program of the University of Hong Kong Dr Estela Ibáñez-García, “The exhibition displays a selection of Congolese paintings and provides diverse perspectives to assist audiences in understanding the complexity of Congolese realities during colonial times. These perspectives reveal that reality is a construct based on how individuals make sense of their own experiences. Experience is always subjective, as it refers to how events are received by consciousness. Yet, as the essays in this catalogue illustrate, we can transcend this narrow sphere of subjectivity through the arts. A close reading of the paintings reveals how Congolese artists articulated and represented their own experiences during colonial times; a critical reading of how Europeans used and interpreted these creations also indicates their own worldview.”

Visit the virtual exhibition here: https://www.virtual.umag.hku.hk/colours-of-congo-en

Details of the Exhibition
Period: February 23, 2021 (Tuesday) to August 29, 2021 (Sunday)
Opening Hours:
9:30 am – 6:00 pm (Tuesday to Saturday)
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm (Sunday)
Closed on Mondays, University and Public Holidays
Venue: 1/F T.T. Tsui Building, UMAG, HKU, 90 Bonham Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Tel/Email: (852) 2241 5500 (General Enquiry) / [email protected]
Admission: Free
Website: http://www.umag.hku.hk/en/