Artwork of the week: Bilele by Maurice Mbikayi

Maurice Mbikayi
C-print on epson paper
165 x 110 cm


“My work is related to identity and history, and seeks to interrogate people’s origins and boundaries – how these can be renegotiated and recontextualised in different socio-political environments. I also investigate the impacts of contemporary technology on humanity, especially Africans.

I focus on various ways in which the technological advancement of the last twenty years has both positively and negatively affected the world. Its reliance on mining for resources, for instance, has made Africa and its people vulnerable to low-wage labour abuse as well as a range of other factors beyond their control, as dictated by international economic markets. The effect on cultural and environmental diversity has been devastating.

I collect remnants of this rapidly developing technology and incorporate them in my work. I use many other materials too, such as wood, fibre glass, plaster of paris, bandages, paper and clothing. The results include mixed-media collages, drawings, sculptures and performances – whatever best questions the issues and expresses my ideas.”