Born in 1975, Maputo, Mozambique, Mabunda is interested in the collective memory of his country, which has only recently emerged from a long and terrible civil war. It works with the weapons recovered in 1992, at the end of the conflict of sixteen years that divided the region.
In his sculptures he gives anthropomorphic forms to AK47s, rocket launchers, pistols and other objects of destruction. While masks may be said to be based on a local history of traditional African art, Mabunda’s work takes on an impressive modernist advantage resembling the Braque and Picasso images. Deactivated weapons of war carry strong political connotations, but the beautiful objects he creates also convey a positive reflection on the transformative power of art and the resilience and creativity of African civil societies.
Mabunda is best known for his thrones, which he claims function as attributes of power, tribal symbols and traditional pieces of African ethnic art. Are an ironic way of commenting on his childhood experience of violence and the absurdity of the civil war that has isolated his country for a long time.
His work has already been presented at the Venice Biennale, Kunst Palast Museum, Dusseldorf, Hayward Gallery in London, Pompidou in Paris, Guggenheim, Bilbao, Mori Art Museum, Vitra Design Museum, Germany, Tokyo and in various art fairs such as: 1-54 Conteporary African Art Fair, Cape Town Art Fair, FNB Joburg Art Fair or ARTISSIMA.
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