Jean Bosco Bakunzi, 2018
Acrylic on canvas - 57.8х79.8
Ruhengeri, Rwanda
How does the traveller see it?
(Fragment of a post from a Facebook page)
The flip-flop salesman

(I wanted to call this “Vietnamki Salesman” (in Russian, flip-flops are sometimes called “vietnamki”) but that could be interpreted in another, let’s say, more sinister way).

I bought this painting in 2018 in the city of Ruhengeri, Rwanda.

The artist’s name is Jean Bosco Bakunzi. The artistic style is Cloisonnism – from the French “cloissonné”, “partition”. The squares are drawn separately, and then “sewn” together to create the full picture.

Bakunzi lost both his parents in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. He was nine at the time. Rwanda’s bloody history is an example of the West trying to implement democracy in a singled-out African country. Just as “successful” as the Soviet introduction of socialism was in Afghanistan.

Returning to the flip-flops – flip-flops are year-round footwear in Africa. They can be multicolored like in São Tomé and Príncipe (Made in China) or unicolor like in South Sudan (made on location using old tires). You can see photos of them on Facebook. 

Anyone still think that all of Africa is the same?
What does the expert say?
In 2011, Jean Bosco Bakunzi moved to Canada; his art is now featured all over the world. In his vibrant, decorative and simultaneously expressive canvases, always replete with color and motion, Jean depicts scenes from everyday life, turning our attention to the surrounding world and captivating us with his free-flowing colorwork as well as his truly unique take on contemporary Western art.

Halyna Sklyarenko, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Fine Arts at the Institute for Art History, Folklore and Ethnology, M. Rylsky National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Candidate in Art History, Associate Professor, member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine.
Что скажет зритель?