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Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga’s Paintings Depict Clash of Culture, Technology

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, a painter based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, crafts oil and acrylic works that blend traditional iconography and technological symbology. In particular, the Illunga series “Mangbetu” comments on a native culture coerced into modernization, as the region is an exporter of material used in computer chips.

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, a painter based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, crafts oil and acrylic works that blend traditional iconography and technological symbology. In particular, the Illunga series “Mangbetu” comments on a native culture coerced into modernization, as the region is an exporter of material used in computer chips.

October Gallery in London had this to say about the recent series from the artist: “Kamuanga Ilunga has explored the predicament of the Mangbetu people, an ethnic group of warrior extraction in the DRC, whose culture is being threatened by a desire to modernise. The DRC is the world’s largest exporter of coltan, a raw material used in computer chips and mobile phones, and Kamuanga Ilunga pays equal reference to both this modern industry and the traditional culture of the Mangbetu, bringing their vibrant fabrics, symbolic objects and daily rituals into confrontation with the digital imagery of the present day.”

The artist, born in 1991, later attended the Kinshasa Academy of Arts and founded the art collective M’Pongo. The artist’s work has been shown in galleries and museums across the world.

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