An artistic ‘Master Mind’
Lok Kandjengo, a young Namibian artist and College of the Arts (Cota) graduate, opened his exhibition ‘Master Minds’ at the National Art Gallery on 5 April. The Zone sat down with him to find out more about his exhibition, his work and his plans for the future.
17 April 2018 | Education
Lok Kandjengo is a young, vibrant Namibian visual artist, specialises in cardboard and linoleum block prints. He is inspired by his environment, culture and origin. Kandjengo wants to use his talent and passion to communicate and educate his viewers. He completed a three year applied arts diploma in 2011 where he was introduced to drawing, painting, and textile and printmaking. In his third year he specialised in cardboard print. Anna Veijo, junior exhibition curator at the National Art Gallery, says she is excited to see that Kandjengo had a successful opening. “His exhibition was the best I have seen thus far. The passion in his work is evident. I don’t think I have ever been more intrigued and fascinated,” says Veijo. She further added that when she started working at the gallery in September, he was already one of the shortlisted artists to qualify for an exhibition. “He met all the criteria we look at before approving an exhibition,” she said. According to her, he had a clear concept and vision for what he wanted his exhibition to be like and his art embodies the marriage between traditional and urban elements. She says that on the opening night of the exhibition, Kandjengo had some tricks up his sleeve. Not only did he integrate musical performances to the event but he also had a demonstration on printmaking. According to her combining musical elements as well as a practical demonstration in the exhibition served as a great way to engage with the audience. “He is very eager to interact with his audience and viewers. Everyone can learn something from Lok Kandjengo,” she added.
The ‘Master Minds’ exhibition includes interesting pieces like the ‘Beetle Car’ and the ‘Rooster’. Asked which one he considers his personal favourite, he said that he prefers the ‘Beetle Car’. It signifies his accomplishments in the industry and thus he says it means a lot to him. “’The Beetle Car’ was my first success-story that I earned through my hardwork in the art industry. It was a car I admired since I was a young boy and since then I had set myself a goal to one day buy myself a beetle,” says the young artist. According to him another significant piece of art is named after his late father, Gabriel Kandjengo. This is the most sentimental work of art to him. When he is not busy making magic with his art, he loves going to the cinema or just enjoying a night in with loved ones. He also considers himself a master chef and says he loves locally produced food.
Fast facts on Lok:
· Lok Kandjengo graduated from the College of the Arts in 2011.
· ‘Master Minds’ is his third solo exhibition.
· He loves loud music and fast cars.
· Kapana is his favourite food.
· His short term goal is to buy himself a Beetle.
Facts on Lino printing
· Lino printing is a form of fine art printmaking where the printing plate is cut into lino.
· The lino is then inked, a piece of paper placed over it, and then run through a printing press or pressure applied by hand to transfer the ink to the paper.
· The result, a linocut print. Because it's a smooth surface, the lino itself doesn't add texture to the print.
· Linoleum was invented in 1860 by a British rubber manufacturer, Fredrick Walton, looking for a cheaper product.
· Lino is made from linseed oil and Walton got the idea "by observing the skin produced by oxidized linseed oil that forms on paint."
· It didn't take long after the invention of lino for artists to decide it was a cheap and easy material for
· A single color linocut inspired by Van Gogh's famous painting of his bedroom.
· The use of lino to create art is "primarily attributed to German Expressionists such as Erich Heckel (1883-1944) and Gabriele Munter (1877-1962)
· Picasso is known to have produced his first linocuts in 1939 and continued doing so into the early 1960s.
· Matisse also made linocuts. Another artist famous for his linocuts is Namibian John Ndevasia Muafangejo. His prints often contain explanatory words
or narratives in English on them.