Born in 1979 in Kananga, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kura Shomali lives and works in Kinshasa. In 2001, Kura Shomali stopped his medical studies to enter the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa, then he joined the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg. Predominantly working on paper, Shomali applies charcoal, ballpoint pen, gouache, ink, marker and collage to create rich and unique textures that are synonymous with his work.
Kura Shomali's work is an urgent reaction to the commotion, chaos and excitement of Kinshasa, the metropolis where he lives. He also crosses borders by using foreign languages and social codes from elsewhere, to illustrate the specific realities of his community and his country’s social and economic issues.
Both cynical and humorous, he playfully appropriates the images of famous African photographers such as Samuel Fosso, Sammy Baloji and Malick Sidibé, as well as images from popular culture like cowboys (Mobutu loved dressing up as a cowboy), Mick Jagger, John Cougar Mellencamp and others.