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Recognizable due to the lines and splashes of ink which are the hallmark of his colourful and turbulent universe, Kura Shomali’s art conveys the buzz and disorder of Kinshasa from which he draws inspiration left, right and centre.

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© Azgard Itambo 2021

Born in 1979 in Kananga (DRC). He lives in Kinshasa.

Shomali started out studying medicine but after two years left to study at the Kinshasa Académie des Beaux-arts (ABA). In 2003, he co-founded a collective of artists called the Eza possibles. Shomali was awarded a bursary by the French embassy in 2004 enabling him to study at the Strasbourg School of Art and Design (ESAD), from which he graduated in 2008. Kura has the ability, or simply the good fortune, of being able to make the most of each experience, whether artistic or social, to fuel his creative capacity.

Having produced videos and created art installations and puppets, and made use of salvage materials, Shomali finally flourished and cemented his style through drawing. He works on drawing paper and uses poster paint, ink, felt tips and even charcoal, with collages sometimes being used to supplement drawing. His works are highly original and immediately recognisable. They often evoke the buzz of Kinshasa.  His works were shown at the Beauté Congo – Congo Kitoko  exhibition at the Fondation Cartier in Paris (July 2015 – January 2016). He had a solo exhibition in 2019 in Kinshasa, at the Texaf-Bilembo cultural centre (Songi Songi na Kinshasa – les rumeurs de Kinshasa), and in 2021 at the same venue, as part of the collective Papiers de société exhibition.

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