By Evelyn Choo | Posted: 08 December 2010
Fleuve Congo François Neyt, Sté…
SINGAPORE : A major African art exhibition is making its international debut in Southeast Asia.
And although these two continents are oceans apart, curators want to show there are more similarities than you think.
The sculpture of a kneeling mother with a child on her back would have been kept in cemeteries to guard the dead.
Upon closer look, you will notice that her eyes are inlaid with glass – believed to enable her to see the spiritual world.
Such pieces reflect the societal and spiritual values upheld by the Bantu-speaking people.
“It’s very important. Why? Because they honoured the deceased persons and they pray to them to protect the village and all the persons around them,” explained Francois Neyt, executive curator of Congo River: Arts of Central Africa.
If you are from a Southeast Asian country, chances are you would’ve heard this theme before. Find a link to a video of the exhibition below or read more about fleuve congo.
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If the two countries sharing the name of Africa’s second- longest river, the (formerly French) Republic of the Congo and the (formerly Belgian) Democratic Republic of the Congo, pop up in the news, you can bet it’s about civil wars, refugees, abysmal poverty or shameless corruption. along the Fleuve Congo)
An anthropomorphic mask of the Fang tribe in Gabon. The work is on loan from a private collection for “Fleuve Congo,” the show at the Musee du Quai Branly. Photographer: Boris Veignant/Musee du Quai Branly via Bloomberg
“Fleuve Congo: Arts d’Afrique Centrale,” an exhibition at the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris, presents a more attractive image of that unfortunate region.
The Benedictine monk Francois Neyt, emeritus professor at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, and curator of the show, spent more than 20 years in Africa. He casts his net wide. Besides the two countries mentioned, he includes ...