Working primarily in recycled rubber and hessian, Congolese artist Patrick Bongoy’s latest body of work is a response to the global reality of literal and figurative environmental pollution. This encompasses the entire spectrum from the erosion of economic viability, the impact on a community and individual behaviour and socio-cultural decay of the rural and urban landscape.
“Through the recovery of waste materials such as inner tubes from vehicle tyres, industrial packaging and textiles combined with my use of paint and African fabric, I repurpose and reinterpret what others discard. Although my work reflects a kind of beauty, it also describes the violent destruction of a place and a people where ethical values have been poisoned, infecting human morality and dignity.”
Bongoy’s work is a subtle yet complex reflection and contemplation of the unbalanced status quo of the DRC where the constant power struggle between a militant government and a suppressed people is the sad reality. His works evoke the terrible stories of the past and highlight how those tales still affect societies today as these inequalities have never been fully addressed in the postcolonial setting. Bongoy’s work poses the constant and haunting question ‘Where to from here?’.