Events — Mixed Media, Installation, Ceramics, Painting, Sculpture, Work on paper

Artist talk with artist-in-residency Carine Mansan Chowanek at Thami Mnyele Foundation studio space

Saturday 3 June 2023
→ Thami Mnyele Foundation
Bellamystraat 21D
1053 BL Amsterdam
Free admission

On 3 June, at 13:00 we welcome you to meet and greet with current artist-in-residency Carine Mansan Chowanek at Thami Mnyele Foundation studio space. The artist talk will start at 14:00.

Thami Mnyele Foundation Studio

Bellamystraat 21D, 1053 BE, Amsterdam.

The Thami Mnyele Foundation was established in 1990 as a tribute to South African activist artist Thami Mnyele. Since then, the Foundation has been able to present an ‘award’ to more than 130 artists from Africa and the diasporas. It’s a small artist in residency in an old school building.The last three decades , residencies have been participating extensively in shaping the art scene. They have been played an important role in contributing artist’ practices providing means and infrastructures that helps in the production new works /expand , nourish new reflections. 

Artist-in-residence programmes give artists the opportunity to live and work outside of their usual environments, providing them with time to reflect, seek cultural exchange, and conduct vital research. For each artist, we create a tailor-made programme that emphasises and encourages direct collaborations between practitioners from Africa and the Diaspora and the Netherlands. Our artist- in-residence programme is a communal product of the cooperation among artists, curators, universities, art academies, cultural agents, and the local people of Amsterdam, who understand its constantly evolving social structure.

Friendships and long-standing relationships are built during residency programmes like this at the Foundation, and we have seen wonderful cultural exchanges happening not just in one direction, but from both sides. Artists have become friends. Museums in Amsterdam , the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the Rijksmuseum, bought their first work from a living artist from Africa. Dutch artists and curators have been,  among other things, invited by visiting artists to South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Marokko, New York, and the Venice Biennale, as well as the Bamako Biennale, Lagos Biennale, Dakar Biennale, and Joburg Art Fair.

For the spring periode 2023 Carine Mansan Chowanek (b. 1988) Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, is selected on the occasion of the exhibition Memoria: ‘Stories of another History ‘that took place from April 7 to August 22, 2022 at the Musée des Cultures Contemporaines Adama Toungara, Abidjan Ivory coast.

In cooperation with  new Société Générale Foundation in Bassam in cooperation with the  PRIX DÉCOUVERTE JEUNE TALENT X SOCIETY GENERALE CI 2022 in partnership  the  Mucat and  INSAAC, the Thami Mnyele Foundation selected Carine Mansan Chowanek for the  Thami Mnyele Foundation residency Award Amsterdam 2023 and an exhibition in 2023  at the at the Musée des Cultures Contemporaines Adama Toungara, Abidjan Ivory coast.

CARINE MANSAN CHOWANEK born in 1988, lives and works in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Carine Mansan Chowanek is a painter and visual artist born in Abidjan. The death of her mother during her childhood had a profound impact on her artistic approach. After high school, she left Ivory Coast to study interior design in Paris, at the prestigious Condé school. It was during her studies at the Faculty of Planning at the University of Montreal, Canada, that she met Achilles Kouamé. Working with this professor of drawing and painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Montreal, the artist explored the non-figurative and found the opportunity to express her emotions and spirituality, in an open and spontaneous way. Deeply inspired by the sacredness and aesthetics of religious icons and black virgins in particular, which fascinate her and mark her imagination, Carine Mansan Chowanek does not hesitate to go on a pilgrimage in the footsteps of one of the most famous and revered black virgins in Europe. 

In her impressive triptych work Ethiopian (a monumental pen-drawn fresco, large-format portraits and a series of bronze heads – presented in Memoria), a very personal project imbued with spirituality and ancient mystical traditions, the artist questions her being and identity. It was when discovering the Song of Songs and in particular the sentence: “I am black but beautiful”… that she learned that in the Middle Ages, in Europe, all blacks were called “Ethiopians” from the word “Aethiopius”, burnt face (black in Greek). “Whatever I do”, says the artist, “everything is rooted in African culture, despite myself”.