Angola pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai presented a collective art exhibition entitled ‘Conexões’ or ‘Connections’ as part of the Angola Day festivities concluded recently.
The exhibition, aligned with the Angola pavilion’s theme of “connecting with tradition to innovate,” featured 12 of the nation’s most celebrated artists spanning six generations.
Commenting on the ‘Conexões’ exhibition, Carla Peario, curator of the collective exhibition, said, “These works of art reflect the concerns, hopes and motivations of artists who are using Angolan and African culture as the source of inspiration for their art. The pieces in the exhibition approach techniques like impressionism, expressionism, surrealism, the abstract and the figurative in an identity fusion of the African art.”
“The artworks displayed at the ‘Conexões’ exhibition inspired variety in its use of materials as it is the technique. The collection showcased artworks from their contemporary and traditional streams, ranging from paintings and installations to bronze sculptures. Some of the works have been created from recycled printed papers,” she added.
According to her, the artworks have been created from experiences and cultures of their ancestors and integrating that knowledge with modern and diverse ways of thinking to find solutions to the current problems.
“The heritage and history of not just Angola but all of Africa crystalized on canvases made with recycled paper, fabric, hessian, cotton thread, plastic, shells, and acrylic paint demonstrating the diversity and creativity of Angolan art.”
Carla Peario also used the exhibition to share her passion for reinterpreting the ‘Sona’ which is based on the Tucokwe sand drawings. “I wanted to show the link between an ancestral tradition and its use in new artistic techniques so that I could reappropriate our ancestor’s legacy and bring attention to how important they are for conveying universal messages and teachings for society,” she remarked.
The various forms of art presented at the exhibition rooted in Angolan culture and heritage, predominantly inspired by ideograms of the Lunda Tchokwe culture, the philosophy of African proverbs, the physical and mental connection between beings, common social problems, the beauty and adornment of African women, the tradition of African courts and its Afro-futurist interpretation.
Peario herself proposed an interactive sandbox inspired by ‘Sona’, where visitors were given the ability to create their own Sonas and enjoy a tactile and visual experience of Angolan culture and history.