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User 5

Ogonga Thom

A Kenyan artist fascinated by the good, bad & ugly in the city he lives in... Nairobi.

interested in the daily happenings of the city I live in and more fascinated by the nocturnal activities. All the things that colour the night; bar brawls, disco scenes, gambling, prostitution etc excite the artist in me. Most of my work is quite figurative and representative of a “typical night out in the city” and is most often satirical of our hypocritical culture of being “responsible citizens” during the day and being the total opposite when the sun goes down.
I am also interested in identity and socio-political narratives & interrogations as themes of my work though on individual project basis. These, are mainly driven by the political situation in my country; bad governance, cronyism, corruption etc or our lack of a clear identity as a result of being Africans strongly influenced by colonization, religion and global consumerism.

  • 2010 -

    An awareness piece highlighting the plight of Kenya’s indeginous forests as a result of wood poaching. It was my view that the forest cover would be depleted by 2010 if no action was being taken to curb forest encroachment and poaching.

  • reflection -

    Cape Town, 2007. Inspired by fashion in the summer with everyone in the city wearing ‘huge’ sunglasses (stunnaz).
    It was a satirical piece questioning the trend.

  • untitled -

    Work developed for ‘Stereotype’ exhibition following post election violence that rocked Kenya in 2007-8. Made from an assemblage of job application letters by fictional characters representing most Kenyan tribes each asking for jobs they are perceived to be good at in an attempt to highlight how these stereotypes contributed to the mess.

  • probe -

    Installation for ‘Probe Exhibition’ curated by Simon Njami -Probing my identity and how am always defined by symbols and doors that am expected to walk through.

  • it's my turn to eat -

    Work developed for ‘Art & Graft Exhibition’ A reaction to Kenyans and corruption being a way of life. How we’re all corrupt in our own little ways but shout loudest when someone else is involved in the vice.


  • Image: Ogonga Thom

    presentation at Kuona Trust in Nairobi Mai 2010; photo Thom Ogonga Puma.Creative

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