Colours of Congo (1)
Colours of Congo (2)
Colours of Congo (3)
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Colours of Congo: Patterns, Symbols and Narratives in Twentieth-Century Congolese Paintings

This show provides a colourful survey of paintings created from the mid-1920s to 1960.

The roles played by European teachers and patrons are significantly detailed and their contributions were immensely consequential. They were visionaries who took a profound interest in the prevailing local iconography and considered the value of the forms, colours, and methods of the already established native art. Instead of imposing their own European visual traditions to the artists of the Congo, they helped to forge a new path for Congolese paintings. 

They encouraged the creation of indigenous art with new materials and techniques. In their aspiration to preserve and nurture traditional Congolese visual arts, they fostered a formative development of the innate creativity of local artists.

Notably, they also promoted the art to a new audience further afield, with exhibitions and sales in their home countries and throughout Europe.

Text & photos Cammy Yiu