JUN 1 - AUG 31  

CULT

FRANCK KEMKENG NOAH

CULT

CULT is a new series of eight paintings on canvas and carpet, which we present for the first time.


This recent corpus looks at figures, objects and traditions associated with a cult,

which are decontextualized as well as artistically and symbolically blended by the artist

to create a new contemporary assembly of veneration and devotion,

simultaneously interrogating notions of pop culture and iconography.

CULT

FRANCK KEMKENG NOAH

CULT is the first solo exhibition of Franck Kemkeng Noah's work at BLAACKBOX. The gallery had already presented the Cameroonian artist’s paintings on canvas and carpet in September 2021, as part of AFRITOPIA, which took place in Brussels, Belgium.


Kemkeng Noah’s work has since been exhibited globally, presenting each viewer with a unique communal space wherein cultures meet, blend, assemble, and find new meanings. The artist’s philosophy, although strongly rooted in his native Bamileke tradition, has selectively incorporated ideas and concepts of contemporary Western societies, which combine to act as a visual celebration to come together, and build a hybrid future.


 

CULT is a new series of eight paintings on canvas and carpet, which we present for the first time. This recent corpus looks at figures, objects and traditions associated with a cult, which are decontextualized as well as artistically and symbolically blended by the artist to create a new contemporary assembly of veneration and devotion, simultaneously interrogating notions of pop culture and iconography.


Since Kemkeng Noah started using colour to invade his rigorous black and white architectural representations, his work has become uniquely marked by a very particular pictorial approach that extends so many invitations to jump into the unknown of secret societies and symbols. His visual research now goes well beyond the confines of Sub-Saharan African rituals, to incorporate aspects of Buddhism, Shintoism, and Christianity – commonly celebrating the idea of a world that is invisible, far beyond our reach, and our human endeavours to connect to it.


Through all his representations of belief and faith, the artist’s unique juxtapositions create so many more associations of ideas, the merging of which generates new iconography, fresh popular images, that continuously challenge and inform the way we see the world.


For whatever you have seen, you can never unsee.


By adding, subtracting, or over layering myriads of shapes and lines, Kemkeng Noah infiltrates the unprovable, the unexpected. And soon enough, we are left walking on a new path, one we did not know existed. And we are not alone, for we are preceded and followed by processions of masks, of figures, of costumes and ritual objects, many faceless, which populate an engaging celebration of multiculturalism.


 

CULT does not take the road of religions, or sects. Rather, it calls back on the ancient Latin sources of the word Culture, namely the act of tending, of cultivating – helping a world in need of attention, to grow its faculties, its understanding, and its manners.

 



Klaus Pas

June 2023