Lot 12 Henry ‘Mzili’ Mujunga (Ugandan, born 1971), Hair Salon, 2018, at the Art Auction East Africa 2019

Henry ‘Mzili’ Mujunga (Ugandan, born 1971)
Hair Salon, 2018
Signed ‘MZILI 2018’ (lower right)
Oil and tempera on canvas
168.8 x 128.9 cm

Ksh 430,000–550,000
(US$ 3,900–5,000)
Sold Ksh 457,860

Provenance: direct from the artist

Hair Salon derives its title more from the depicted interaction than from the setting. We see a lady inspecting the hair of her partner in the scene, and around them the everyday objects that fill up their presumed home. Unexpected objects such as the FIFA World Cup trophy and a fetish sit on the shelf among the bottles, whose labels bear amusing plays on the original brand-names. This pulling together of seemingly disparate objects and references speaks directly to the formation of individual identities in the present day.

Renowned as a painter and printmaker, Henry Mzili intermingles traditional visual forms, African art histories and modern techniques and approaches to art making. Over the course of a career spanning more than two decades he has been an advocate of what he refers to as ‘indigenous expressionism’. In 2003, Mzili was a winner of the Royal Overseas League (ROSL) Art Scholarship. He has exhibited extensively in galleries in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Ghana, the UK, Germany, France and The Netherlands. Mzili is a cofounder of Kampala Arts Trust.