John Kalunda offers his first solo exhibition opening next Monday with his first at the Village Opera House titled Urban Identity.
With his unique and well designs artworks, Kalunda will be exhibiting 20 of his creative works, which he says are his best artworks so far. Although his works may not really be that different from one another, Kalunda says they all have current information of people living poor in urban area. “This is an amazing thing that has never happened in my life. Showcasing my talents that has true messages to public eyes is fantastic,” he says. Hence the titled Urban Identity.
Artworks showcasing include Urban Kawe Bar, describing businesses in an urban area. Another one is Urban Car Park, which has information on pensioned people who are unable to repair their vehicles. Another artwork is Urban Removal, portraying the history of communities of the removal of house owners whose house had been built under the power line. During the exhibition, viewers will also get an opportunity to interact, share experiences and discuss solutions to urban ills.
Kalunda’s solo exhibition consists of mixed media paintings, depicting images of Namibian urban settlements, including Katutura.
In the process of his artworks he engaged communities and their physical space to establish the type of materials that would represent the feelings of these communities. Kalunda shares in the living conditions of his communities and specifically express the collective sense of poverty.
Born in Kaguni, in Kavango East in Northern Namibia in 1986, Kalunda is currently a part-time Art Teacher at the Amazing Kids Private School, while pursuing Visual Arts Studies at the University of Namibia (Unam)
His artworks are in two categories namely, Dimensions (2D) and Three Dimensions (3D). “I have been working in the arts industry since my first year at the College of the Arts in 2010. In my second year, I started participating in arts events, exhibitions and workshops,” he says.
He is inspired by the famous visual artist, Vusi Khumalo from South Africa, who uses similar techniques as him. The purpose of exploring the ideas of shantytowns, according to Kalunda, is to describe the shantytowns, and the lack of development thereof.