O’Maurice Mboa, born in Yaoundé, Cameroon, in 1983, awarded from the School of Fine Arts of Mbalmayo (IFA ), is an interdisciplinary visual artist who expresses himself through painting, metal engraving and installations.
Deeply rooted in the Cameroonian society of today, O’Maurice draws his creative force from the cultural boiling that Africa has always had. He has several solo and group exhibi-tions to his credit in Cameroon and Europe.
Zone d’hybridation, 2016
O’Maurice Mboa is an artist who stands out for the singularity of his «sheet-webs», his poetic works—sometimes elusive—but always closely linked to his roots, in the very bowels of the earth, and tied to soul of his ancestors and the aspirations of his generation. His works are the the holders of old practices, metallic three-dimensional prints that represent a specific action, both social and territorial, and ensuring a continuity between tradition and modernity.
O’Maurice Mboa is an artist distinguished by a transversal search, linked to his traditions, his land, against the inevitability of decentralization and globalization. These are terms that are widely used, though it is very difficult to grasp the scope of their meaning. Attachment to material descended from his ancestors defines the poetry of this extraordinary artist as unusual—his «sheet-webs» represent, even as they respect both the human and territorial landscape of his country, a very special link that connects his country to metal, to life and death, to hope and despair, and which sees his people extracting the mineral wealth of their country, to an uncertain future…
His work aims to establish a vertical relationship with the world, a revealing relationship with which his technique and his creations are steeped.
White Spirit, 2017
The «Clichés» exhibition in 2006 was the beginning of the reflection of his era in relation with this vertical relationship. The «Chronicles» exhibition in 2007, anchored in the move-ment of the city and in African urbanity places him squarely and definitely in the local scene of contemporary art.
Since 2014, this approach has led him to work on fingerprints, barcodes, QR codes and an advanced connectivity.
With the «Souls-preintes» exhibition he built, in 2014, a protean work, experimenting with chromatic juxtapositions which are often unexplored or feared, and playing with light and matter.
It is a reflection on the relationship between centuries, the new century and the merchandising of the world, lost identities and the importance of history and the role of memory in this new era.
After exhibitions in 2014 on the «Barcode» and «Souls-preintes» O’Maurice Mboa has continued his work on the exploration of the soul of the continent and in 2016 he offered his thoughts on transmigration through a new series entitled «Transitions».
In 2016, he was invited to an exhibition at the U.N. in Geneva and participated in the Dakar Biennale 2016. He is currently preparing a series of exhibitions in different European capitals.
O’Maurice Mboa works on plates using an engraving technique he has been developing for years. He distinguished himself by a transversal research linked to his traditions and his land, oriented towards the inevitability of decentralization and globalization – terms often used nowadays with a scope that is very difficult to grasp. In this respect he might be called a «glo-cal» artist because his work associates a global and a local vision.
He remains deeply linked to the soul, the spiritual realm of his ancestors while paying due attention to the expectations of his contemporaries. Embedding ancient practices, his metal engravings in three dimensions represent a precise action, both social and territorial, ensuring a form of continuity between tradition and modernity.
The work on matter remains fundamental in this approach. He establishes a vertical and revealing relationship with the world that impregnates his techniques and creations.
Moreover, the artist is interested in philosophy and aesthetics in order to characterize the problems associated with the collective making of an identity or rather of the «illusion of an identity» as enacted and controlled by the current commodification and standardization of the world. Thus, since 2014, this approach has led him to work on imprints, bar-codes, QR codes and hyper-connectivity. He explores the transition from one century to the other, the emerging new century with its commodification of the world, lost identities and the importance of history and the role of memory in this new era.
He began a series entitled «Soul-prints» in 2014. Using imprints on a face, this technique corresponds to the portrait, the distinctive mark of identity in the Western world, for example, a distinctive mark of one social class in relation to another. Today, portraits have been replaced by commercial brands via fingerprints and barcodes, a global pheno-menon of trade and market communication.
In this video the artist takes the role of his characters as images of his works are shown on his body.(text dossier artist)