Foreign Agent is excited to announce the launch on July 15, 2022, of its summer group show Summer Flings showcasing exciting works by Franck Kemkeng Noah, Ousmane Bâ, Isaac Zavale, Nicolas Lambelet Coleman and Gonçalo Mabunda, most of whom are shown for the first time in Switzerland. Summer Flings explores wide-ranging themes from self-creation trough inter-culturalism, the absurd legacy of armed conflict, the beauty of the Black body, the assassination of Benjamin F. Randolph and the vibrant reality of Joburg inner-city street life. Come join us on Friday July 15 at 6pm!
Franck Kemkeng Noah, born in Yaoundé, Cameroon in 1992, draws his inspiration from the fusion of cultures and the creation of what he calls “memory palaces”. Inspired by Oswald de Andrade’s “Manifesto of the Anthropophagus” published in 1928, he understands the fusion between his traditional Bamileke origins and other cultures as the creation of a new self. For the artist, culture is the very possibility of creating, renewing and sharing values. For Summer Flings, he has imagined Swiss landmarks transformed through Bamileke performance. His work has been selected by the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris for a group exhibition in April 2022. His art has recently been featured in several exhibitions including at Didier Claes in Brussels, Belgium and at the Fondation Blachère in France. He also participated in 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Marrakech in 2020.
Isaac Zavale was born in 1987 in Maputo, Mozambique. His family escaped to Johannesburg during the civil war in Mozambique and his work focuses on social and political matters in Southern Africa seen through the lens of a Mozambican immigrant. In 2011, Zavale started his own printmaking studio, Prints on Paper (POP) with fellow artist and friend, Minenkulu Ngoyi. Since 2013 they have been working at Alphabet Zoo Collective running zine and printmaking projects throughout South Africa. Zavale takes his inspiration from inner city Joburg street life, reflecting on the current state of South Africa but rather than emphasising the poverty or neglect he chooses to look at the graphics and beauty of inner city space and the aspirations of its people as with Mam Shangan and Mam Dori, two works featuring women from Joburg. His work has been presented widely in Southern Africa, Bode Projects in Berlin and at 1-54 London, 2021.
Ousmane Bâ is a French visual artist, born in 1988 and raised in Strasbourg where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from L’Institut Supérieur des Arts Appliqués. His practice centres around drawing, painting and collage, a thoughtful invitation to reflect on movement, our relationship with self and others as well as our engagement with nature. Bâ took an early interest in Japanese art and moved to Japan in 2017 to develop his own style and technique, immersing himself into a new philosophy and vision of the world. Bâ works mostly with ink, inspired by the art of calligraphy as well as the techniques of Japanese printmaking, including the « Moku Hanga » technique (wood print). Two new works, including one diptych, will be presented at the gallery. Ousmane Bâ has since taken part in exhibitions in various Japanese galleries such as Studio Gross, Fukagawa garage and Trunk Hotel. Most recently his work has been presented at the Dakar Biennale 2022.
Nicolas Lambelet Coleman is a painter currently based in New York, born in 1998 in North Carolina, United States to a Swiss mother and African American father. He studied visual arts and political science at Duke University. His work focuses on portraiture, with a particular emphasis on self-portraiture, a journey to self-discovery, where he reimagines his image and path through art. Coleman has also explored Black history through his ongoing series of portraits named “Reconstruction & Redemption” centred around 19th century African American leaders from the South: one work from this series will be featured in Summer Flings. Placing humankind at the centre of his practice, his work is an invitation to reflect on different facets of identity, community and humanity. His work has been featured in several exhibitions across the US: recent shows include 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in New York in 2022 and 33rd September, the Alexandria Museum of Art in Louisiana, 2020 and the Duke University Visual Arts Exhibition in 2020.
Gonçalo Mabunda is a mixed-media sculptor born in 1975 in Maputo, Mozambique. He started his artistic work in 1992 while working at Núcleo de Arte, the oldest centre for collaborative arts in Mozambique. His work examines the collective memory of his nation recovering from decades of conflict, giving anthropomorphic forms to AK47s, rocket launchers, pistols and other objects of destruction. Goncalo Mabunda is known for his thrones made from decommissioned weapons, one of which is presented here. His work has been exhibited across the world including in the Netherlands, Norway, China, France, Uruguay, Italy, Mozambique, the US and is held in the collections of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France; The Tropen Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands and Museum of Arts and Design in New York, USA.