Congo River: Arts of Central Africa
@ Special Exhibitions Gallery, ACM Empress Place
10 Dec 2010 – 10 Apr 2011
Museum visits are for lazy weekends when the mind needs to replenish. When Pablo Picasso saw these African masks he realized that he could harness their visual power in his work to convey meanings and emotions in a different way. These objects have long impressed collectors and artists, and the exhibition also displays works by Picasso, who in the early 20th century was strongly influenced by African art as he developed his modernist style.
This exhibition is both a visual journey as well as a cultural one. The mighty Congo River winds its way through the very heart of Africa, from lush rainforests to wide grassy plains. The Congo also links diverse cultures as well as three modern nations, whose rich artistic traditions are explored in this exhibition. The beautifully crafted sculptures, masks and ancestor figures, tell a story about their importance in ceremonies, rituals and dances.
Known as the ‘river that swallows all rivers’, the Congo today links the nations of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo and Gabon. Drawing from the musée du quai Branly and other European collections of African art, Congo River: Arts of Central Africa is the first of its kind to be held in Southeast Asia. A full range of programmes for families, adults and students will be held in conjunction with the exhibition.
This exhibition is jointly organised by the Asian Civilisations Museum and the musée du quai Branly, Paris.