Nkuranga brings e-waste to life in exhibition

'Analog Aerials', the title for visual artist Emmanuel Nkuranga’s solo exhibition Saturday night was intriguing. The word 'analog' has a retro feel to it, while 'aerials' makes one to think tech or connectivity or anything along those lines.
Emmanuel Nkuranga showcased a collection of unique pieces. / Moses Opobo
Emmanuel Nkuranga showcased a collection of unique pieces. / Moses Opobo

“Analog Aerials”, the title for visual artist Emmanuel Nkuranga’s solo exhibition Saturday night was intriguing.

The word “analog” has a retro feel to it, while “aerials” makes one to think tech or connectivity or anything along those lines.

Walking into the exhibition Saturday evening was like walking into a neat computer assembly room. It was one of those rare occasions when a visual art exhibition is devoid of the usual paintings on 2D canvass.

In the place of canvass and paint, Nkuranga went in for e-waste, working with computer motherboards and other computer accessories to create impressions of different cityscapes.

Computer keyboards, resins, wood and other used electronic parts were not spared as Nkuranga strived to make the best of recyclable art.

In their neat rows, the art works replicate the engineering design of a bustling city, complete with roads, buildings, and other physical installations. A sense of perspective of the large and the small is what the artist’s work is aimed at achieving in the mind of the viewer.

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The exhibition featured e-waste turned into beautiful art. / Moses Opobo

Another prominent piece was that of an upright guitar, which sat imposingly in the middle of the exhibition hall. It is soaked in acrylic paint and looks like a permanent installation although it wasn’t.

Nkuranga explained that this and other musical instruments on display were to be seen for the beauty of their form, rather than the sounds they produce.

Interestingly, the largest and most impressive piece had nothing to do with computer motherboards, although it still bore all the markings of recyclable art, for which the visual artists at Inema have built quite a reputation over the years.

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One of the pieces at the exhibition.

It featured hundreds of disused eye glasses pinned creatively on a board, dotted with “eyes” to create the impression of hundreds of eyes peering through the eye glasses.

At $ 10,000, it was one of the more pricey pieces, although moving around the exhibition hall I soon landed on one art piece with a price tag of $ 28,000.

Most of the pieces were mixed media creations on board.

 

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