City Life by Aida Muluneh
At the moment we’ve got our eyes on award-winning Ethiopian photographer and contemporary artist Aida Muluneh, who currently resides in Addis Ababa and has enchanted us with her vivid images that are symbolic of her uniquely multi-faced cultural lifestyle.
Having left Ethiopia at a young age, she spent an itinerant childhood between Yemen, Cyprus and Canada. In late 2000 she graduated from the School of Communication at Howard University in Washington DC, with a major in film, radio, and television. Since then, she has freelanced in the artistic field in hope of reconnecting with her land of birth.
Since moving back to Ethiopia, she has created several exhibitions of work and founded the country’s first international photography festival, known as the Addis Foto Fest. Soon after, she established an annual open call, named Fana Wogi, to support contemporary artists.
‘It was at the end of high school that I realised how images could create or distort realities, and so at the age of 16 I began exploring photography,’ explains Muluneh. Since then she has expressed a strong preference for manual/analogue photography, which is clearly a great strength of hers. Her most recent body of work, The World is 9 (pictured here), asks questions ‘about the life that we live, as people, as nations, and as beings’.
Her painted work on the human body is inspired by traditional body art used in various cultures from Africa. She has stated that ‘each work is a reflection of conscious and subconscious manifestations of time and space’. As she embraces the endless possibilities of photography, Muluneh’s work encapsulates her reality. The use of a bold primary colour palette is a pinnacle point in her pieces as they reference different cultural beliefs.
For a further glimpse through her artistic lens, get your hands on her coffee table book, Ethiopia: Past/Forward, which reflects her personal visions on reconnecting to her heritage through themes of nostalgia and identity.
Muluneh’s work is part of a travelling exhibition and will be showcased by contemporary gallery David Krut Projects during the ninth annual Joburg Art Fair at the Sandton Convention Centre from 9 to 11 September 2016.