April - June 2021 — Visual Arts
Fransix Tenda Lomba is a multidisciplinary visual artist from Kinshasa, DR Congo. His practice spans drawing, painting, sculpture and animated video. He is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa and regularly collaborates with Kin ArtStudio in Kinshasa. He has participated in several residencies in Europe, Africa and the United States, and will be on residency at Atelier Mondial in Basel, Switzerland from April-June 2021.
For the past few years Fransix’s work has explored archival elements, mixing documents and archival objects of his parents from the 1900s with official documents issued by the national authority. Fransix considers these objects witnesses of experience and history, living documents that bear the traces of daily life that tell the story of a post-colonial society.
During his residency, Fransix will source documents from the museum in Basel relating to the Swiss presence in Cameroon. He aims to retrace the histories of different cultures through archives in order to question collective memory. Fransix will develop animations overlaid on the archival documents from his family and the museum, and explains this as “an interaction between the texts found on the documents and my drawings; the movement and action on stage will depend on the writing of the background.”
Underpinning this is an exploration of the implications of research, narration and animation techniques, and how through this process, the artist moves from being an observer to a participant. Fransix explains: “This project is a tribute to my parents, both civil servants since the time when the country was still called Zaire. My mother is the director of a public primary school commonly known as E.P. 1, 2, 3 and 4, and my father who was director of news on Zaire’s national television. The drawings reflect a re-visitation of my childhood reality, in which I was unaware of my own history. They are the result of a game of reading and writing: first I read the text found on the document and then I start to draw myself following a word or a sentence in the text which I underline with a bright colour. This process gives the archival objective another life and digital posterity to my parents’ notebooks.”