“The raw energy of nature and the refined aesthetic of the creator make my heart beats”
Maliza Kiasuwa was born in 1975 in Bucharest to a Romanian mother and Congolese father. She is a self-taught, multi-dimensional artist, raised between Kinshasa and Brussels. She currently lives and works in Brussels. She has had solo exhibitions in London and in Nairobi where she is represented by Circle Art Agency. In 2021, Foreign Agent presented Masolo, a group show featuring her work along with two Congolese artists Kura Shomali and Joycenath Tshamala. Her work was most recently presented at the Congo Biennale in Kinshasa.
Kiasuwa examines questions of identity and lineage through painting, stitching and collage. She revisits old engravings representing stiff pot-bellied white paternal ancestors and reimagining them with features from traditional African art in a labor of intimate métissage, reminiscent of surrealism. She also combines handmade materials from Japan with found objects from around her farm. Kiasuwa embraces her chosen material’s earlier character and vocabulary but transfigures their context.
Her main sources of inspiration are nature, the earth and the cosmos. Her interest in transformative and regenerative processes comes from the desire to understand the mystery of the cycle of life. Philosophical and spiritual matters are at the forefront of her work. She describes herself as a weaver for she mixes materials, styles and techniques that are not meant to meet and creates something unique out of them.