Having travelled to different countries to learn more about art and gaining exposure, self-taught visual and sketch artist, Hage Mukwendje, will be back in the country to showcase his new artworks at the Franco-Namibia Cultural Centre (FNCC) next Tuesday.
Hage’s exhibition “My Namibia” opening at the La Bonne Table restaurant is a reflection on identity and culture, and of the gap that needs to be filled between the constant contradictions of a traditional upbringing in rural areas, clashing with life in the city.
More than ten artworks will be showcased. Hage will also be sharing his new experience in art, which he learned from Haihatus-residency Joutsa, where he was staying the whole of February attending open workshops and lectures. During his time in Haihatus, Hage presented his artworks and techniques as well drawing together with other international artists. “My creativity comes from my heart, not from my peers who are also involved in making arts. I always try to do art according to my own thoughts and style without referring to some one’s artwork,” says Hage.
Having been making art for the past years, he says he was inspired early on by his surroundings, and the everyday life of the people around him. What people do, how they react, and how they live, juxtaposed with objects from a different life makes a type of art that attempts to bridge the gap between Hage’s upbringing as a rural boy and his life now as a young man in the city. “However, My Namibia exhibition is a reflection of the young artist’s vision of his country, through the issue of identity and culture, that have evolved as Namibians have been adapting to the colonial occupations and post-colonial pressures placed upon them.” In his exhibition, the artist will seek to reiterate the importance of protecting individual cultures, in a world where customs and beliefs have fallen victim to the onslaught of an increasing evolving global culture.