Born in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Maurice Hermès Mbikayi graduated in Graphic Design and visual communication from the “Academies des Beaux Arts” of Kinshasa in 2000. He decided to expand his horizons and moved to South Africa in mid-2004. Having been one of the Spier Contemporary 2010 biennale selected artists; he was also selected to participate in the 2010 Hollard Exchange Program. And was also awarded 3 months residency exchange program in Basel/Switzerland, by Prohelvetia South Africa and as well as a 3 months Artist In Residency program by Africa Centre, in Ethiopia
Since arriving in South Africa, Maurice has participated in various group and solo exhibitions as The AVA Gallery, The Centre for African Studies Gallery/UCT, The Alliance Francaise of Southern Africa and the Harare International Festival of the Arts 2008 in Zimbabwe. Maurice has used art for therapeutic purposes within the broader community, and explores various aspects of visual art and public performances, as a way of engaging the public and interrogating socio- political boundaries.
My work is primarily related with Identity, History and technology seeking to interrogate socio-political boundaries. And as cultural activist I’m interested in identity, origin and space. How an individual can compromise, renegotiate space, and adapt to become reborn. I also investigate the effects of technology on identity and history, while unpacking the ways in which technology has had an impact on diverse African populations. As an artist, I draw on the numerous technological resources available for realizing some ideas more efficiently.
I particularly focus on various ways in which the advanced technological revolution of the last twenty years has both positively and negatively impacted on the world generally and Africa in particular. The reliance on mining for natural resources for instance, has made Africa and its people vulnerable to low-wage labour abuse, as well as a range of issues beyond their control, dictated by international economic markets. This has had a devastating impact on Africa cultural and environmental diversity.
Proceeding by collecting hardware remnants of this rapidly developing technology and other found objects and incorporating them into my work, The resultant mixed media drawings and sculptures ask questions such as to whom such technological resources are made available and at what or whose expense? What are the consequences impacting on our people and environment?
I look at similarities of differences of populations from diverse background and their response related to human earth issues.