We are glad to unveil "JUNGLE STORY", Jean David Nkot's new series. Attached to the concept of cartography, Jean David Nkot reintroduces it to “JUNGLE STORY” to document the departure of the children he depicts. Their causes of migration replace the names of the cities. The map, usually covering the background of his previous works, merges here with the skin of the characters.
Continuing his series “Les creuseurs de sous-sol”, Nkot shows the dark side of ore extraction on the African continent. If the colours he uses in this series are less vivid than usual, his message does not lose its intensity. Colours erase in favour of the strength of the topic. What matters is no longer the form but the content. Look at these children. Understand their story. The perspective adopted reminds us of passport photos. On purpose, the application form displayed for refugee status strengthens this impression. On the children’s foreheads, the stamp acknowledging their request glows. As if this status could define them. As if they would never be able to get rid of it.
As always, Jean David Nkot adds postage stamps and other elements borrowed from the communication industry: from the title to the canvas itself. Each canvas conveys a message to the world. Each message is a source of information. Each information is detailed. From one canvas to the other, Nkot specifies the names of the armed operations in Africa, of the ore extraction companies, of the ores themselves, or of the armed groups. His method is precise. A network of lines associates the pieces of information together. Ready to be analysed, they live alongside the faces of the children, collateral victims of a phenomenon where political and economic issues are at stake.
If his canvases remind of data analytics and investigation methods, Jean David Nkot is particularly interested in the work of American artist Mark Lombardi. Starting from 1994, the man who wanted 'to make the invisible visible', started to create what he called “narrative structures”. These abstract diagrams aimed to explain financial trade movements. If the object and form of the analysis are different in the work of Nkot, the Cameroon artist also conceives his canvases like treasures of information. He feeds his art from his meetings and readings. He builds hence the archives of his time in parallel with his body of work.
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