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Raised in a Kinshasa area renowned for being eventful, for gangsters “Kuluna”, who impose their laws and for the omnipresence of pubs along the roads where people feast until morning. “I’m inspired by my local urban reality, while echoing the pain of a globalized world.”
“I incise, perforate and brand on tarpaulin. The spirit of my work is expressed by the light which is the raw material I extract and transform. It is the energy and the source that gives life to my installations. So, the work I do on the tarp is a way to channel and sculpt the light. I translate this technique by 'NZOLOKO'; a word borrowed from a Congolese ancestral practice of self-inflicted incision on the skin for cosmetic or therapeutic purposes, i.e. scarification.”
His work is currently articulated around the notion of renaissance and renewal. Throughout his artistic journey, and in his creations, he has stressed the harmful nature of the global society we are living in. Our unbridled economy and consumption drive have caused lots of damage and suffering. Nkembo’s work on tarp, through the act of incision and branding, or Nzoloko , denotes the wounds that we, as citizens of this world, are enduring. “The fact that I incise, perforate and brand to find the light represents the pursuit of happiness, everyone's Eldorado. It causes suffering for those left behind, suffering often inflicted by the most powerful of this world” Looking at his direct environment, he sees signs and traces of cultural consumption. He sees waste, artefacts, despair, and hope. “Chaos cannot be an end”. Art allows him to explore the transformative potential of today’s cultural consumption. From an initial will to denounce, he moves to visual and contemporary reinterpretations, exploring new mediums and compositions.
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