Traveling the crossroads that connect Cameroon to Beligum to Houston, comes Franck Kemkeng Noah, an artist whose works illuminate the growing spirit of a global blended culture, infused with African roots. The University Museum is delighted to invite the Houston art community to view "Memory Palaces: The Creations of Franck Kemkeng Noah", on view March 10th through April 2nd, 2023.
Memory Palaces, is a thought provoking gallery of works that tie traditional African culture and symbols, to European points of interest and places of influence. Integrating subjects such as Africa's colonial past, slavery, religious beliefs, and traditional rituals, Noah offers a meaningfully energetic perspective on the notions of civilization, cross cultural-ism and identity.
His paintings incorporate an experimental use of objects he finds lying in the streets, and often he uses the back of old rugs. From these discarded mediums, emerge hybrid mixed works, that conceptually, further emphasize this mixing of human cultures and values; a primary aesthetic of the artist.
In addition to this fantastic exhibit, the Texas Southern University Art Department is excited to welcome Franck Kemkeng Noah as a resident teaching artist. During his stay in Houston, he will be will be working with TSU Art students offering feedback on their studio work while sharing his experiences as a traveling artist. Noah will also create an entirely new work inspired by his stay in Houston. He will complete a collaborative installation with help from our students, giving them a unique opportunity to gain hands on experience and insight to the complexities of professional art practice.
The exhibition "Art of the Cameroon Grassfields, A Living Heritage in Houston" will concurrently be open at the Menil Collection. It features remarkable examples of traditional Cameroonian art and contemporary works of artist Herve' Youmbi. Both exhibitions are free and open to the public, and together, they provide an exceptional opportunity to explore the visual and cultural traditions of Cameroon.
Memory Palaces: The Creations of Franck Kemkeng Noah is made possible by the support from the Teiger Foundation.
Born in Yaoundé, Cameroon, in 1992, Franck Kemkeng Noah took an interest in drawing at a very early age. He graduated with a Master’s in Fine Arts from the Foumban Institute of Fine Arts (IBAF) in his native country. In 2017, he moved to France and took a second Master’s degree, this time in Art Research at the University of Picardy Jules Verne in Amiens.
His roots in Cameroon’s Bamileke ethnic group and its culture would become one of his main sources of inspiration. He would base his art research on the works of a number of artists, including Hervé Youmbi, Beatriz Gonzalez, Helio Oiticica and Etienne Martin, and on The Cannibalist Manifesto by Oswald de Andrade.
Noah's repurposed canvas's, provide a new medium for a series of works that function as narrative points in the history of migration. Often labelled “hybrid art”, Noah’s work pursues an experimental approach that is essentially characterized by painting. From the heart of this, emerge mixed artworks, offering a uniquely vibrant take on the concepts of inter-culturalism, identity, civilization and the fusing of human cultures.