Melbourne Art Fair 2018 | C6

GAGPROJECTS is proud to have profiled a solo show by Pierre Mukeba at the 2018 Melbourne Art Fair.

INSTALLATION

WORK

b. 1995, Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Lives and works in Adelaide

Pierre Mukeba was born in  the shadows of civil war in Bukavu in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. At an early age he, along with his family, was forced to flee to a refugee camp in Zambia where food was scarce. His mother discovered that her brother was doing well in Harare, the capital Zimbabwe and he invited them to come and stay. For a brief moment life was stable until the Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, ordered that anybody who wasn’t a national of Zimbabwe was to be arrested. In desperation, Mukeba’s mother approached the Australian embassy for asylum. Finally, in 2006, the family were granted residency in Adelaide.

Mukeba’s passion for art grew from the period of living with his uncle. “I used to watch him build sculptures and draw”, he says. “He taught me how to draw farms, trees and people. The basics. He inherited his talent from my grandfather, who was a famous artist in Congo. My uncle inspired me to draw more until I found it had grown into a passion. With my art I have found my own technique of drawing. I learn mostly through experimenting as I go.”

Mukeba deliberately restricts his palette to three colours. “I use the colour red as our prehistoric ancestors saw it as a sign of fire and blood,” he says. “Red is usually associated with war, strength and power. The colour blue is used to represent piety and sincerity. Lastly, the colour yellow which represents happiness and joy. Most of my artwork contains a lot of red paint as I believe that the colour red represents the emotions and lifestyle my people in Central Africa experience on a daily basis.”

- Ashley Crawford, 2017 (Art Collector, Issue 79, January - March, 2017)

Melbourne Art Fair returns 2-5 August [Vernissage, 1 August]. The 2018 edition will showcase a curated selection of 40 leading galleries, presenting works by some of the newest and most respected contemporary artists from Australia, New Zealand and the region.

As the flagship event of Melbourne Art Week [30 July – 5 August], Melbourne Art Fair has partnered with 50+ galleries and cultural institutions across Australia’s capital of culture to create a dynamic calendar of talks, tours, events and performances that will celebrate contemporary art and encourage participation and discourse. 

Set to attract over 20,000 art lovers over 5 days, the Fair and its associated programs will activate the city’s vibrant artistic centre, the Southbank Arts Precinct.

Over its 30 year history, Melbourne Art Fair has been instrumental in stimulating critical and commercial attention for galleries and their artists, presenting and celebrating the rich and diverse cross-section of the region’s visual art scene.

Beginning in 1988, Melbourne Art Fair was the first commercial fair of the Asia Pacific to establish a global network for collectors to connect and engage with the Australian art market. Consequently, Victorian based philanthropic support for arts and culture is the strongest in the nation.

A truly global city, Melbourne is enriched by a population from over 200 countries and this cultural framework continues to influence the Fair’s creative offering. Host city to 48 private museums, world-class institutions and galleries including ACCA, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Heide Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Victoria [ranked 19th most popular gallery in the world], as well as one of the largest concentrations of commercial galleries in the country, Melbourne is a fitting location for Australasia’s most critically important commercial platform for the presentation and celebration of contemporary art.