Gusaneo Ya Muvaka (Land Disputes)

Kaloki Nyamai


Mixed Media on Canvas, 2018


2oocm x 200cm 

More Artwork by Kaloki Nyamai

Kenyan born artist Kaloki Nyamai (b. 1985) explores the parallels between the past and the present through richly-layered, multimedia works. Drawing heavily on the stories of the Kamba community narrated to him by his grandmother, Nyamai explores how history and identity are intertwined and how this has informed the identities of people living in present day, post-colonial Kenya. At the core of his practice, Nyamai battles with what it means to be black in white spaces and the textured surfaces of his works reflect this struggle in their very construction. The paint is laid on heavily and becomes scarred with cracks as it dries and the additional layers of ripped canvas that are pasted onto the original surface create a rich palimpsest of colour and texture. Another recurring element in Nyamai’s work are the rectangular shapes that surround his subjects implying their isolation and entrapment. These recurring formal elements in his work highlight his interest in the repetitive nature of human behavior, and through his work Nyamai questions the behaviors of people in post-colonial societies by positioning these difficult questions within the constructs of a skewed power dynamic