The Contemporary African Art Fair that was held in Paris from 10 to 12 November ended on a rather positive note. For this 2017 edition, AKAA recorded a stable attendance compared to last year (15 000 visitors) but has now a new audience of amateurs that have supplemented an existing audience of collectors.
Last week, all those wonderful people rushed to boothes so that to discover the artists’ work. It was hard not to be caught in the impressive artwork of Congolese artist Freddy Tsimba, suggested by Angalia gallery. The entirely recycled and welded-spooned sculpture represents a character, face to the wall, hands up and pants down. This is the kind of artwork I like, the one that both imposes and tells a story.
Entitled « Closed Center, open dreams », that sculpture followed a painful experience Freddy Tsimba had when he was in Belgium for a short stay. Actually, the misinterpretation of his visa by the authorities led the artist to an administrative retention center until all suspicion was ruled out. « I spent ten days of difficult time because I didn’t expect that. I didn’t want that. I was cold, it was hard, all of that (…) And from that experience arose this artwork. I said to myself – this center is closed but I still have my dreams open. Hence the artwork’s title ».
On the basis of his experience, Freddy Tsimba decides to create more pieces, in the same vein. His series, which is in working progress, aims at emphasizing the humiliations and violence people are facing daily in Congo or elsewhere and invites each one of us to open our eyes to the injustices endured throughout the world, whatever those who refuse to confront the uncomfortable truth that comes from that disturbing collection. « Sometimes when people come, they don’t have a look on it. They walk by without stopping. Ah ! It touches them ! They want to see pleasant things. I don’t want that. I am doing a work that tells things », he says.
In the meantime, he hopes that his artworks will be exhibited at home, in Kinshasa and in any part of the world before they end at the Berlin wall, a symbolic and ideal place « to show that everybody must overcome all those injustices ».