First Culture

Freddy Tsimba, the Congolese sculptor who gives life to death

Freddy Tsimba is a Congolese sculptor born  in Kinshasa, the capital of Congo. Tsimba is notable for exploring the theme of war in all its facets. Bagging a diploma in monumental sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa in 1989, most of his sculptures are composed of sleeves and / or wars of weapons of pieces welded together to form the mind blowing characters.

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The art of crafting war pieces into sculptures makes for an interesting point of conversation, one that is a little ironical considering Freddy is giving life to weapons that were used in their original intent to kill. Thus, Freddy’s work is very unique. In 2001, he received the silver medal at the Games of La Francophonie for his victim against her sculpture, the Medal of Merit of Arts, Sciences and Letters in Congo was bestowed him in 2004 and in 2007, a monumental sculpture of Freddy Tsimba was inaugurated in Ixelles (Belgium). 

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In an interview with IAM in 2015, Freddy says about his works “Recovering these elements that have caused sadness and desolation is a way to restore life. By welding together around 50 to 300 empty casings to create human body, I restore 300 lives in a body. These people who disappeared during the Rwandan genocide or during the conflict in the Kivu region, become just memories and the past. The legacy of these tragedies mark the collective memory as well as those left by the two world wars. My work contributes to an effort of memory and a desire to eradicate the scourge of war”

And about being an artist and what it means to him, He says “Being an artist means to me, do not miss things: everything interests me as an artist and I also have my say over everything that happens around me, like politics and life in society…..Being an artist is also a way to beautify life, beautify my life

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Freddy also freestyles as a painter, novelist and poet. He has exhibited in many countries around the world.

Photos: Freddy Tsimba Website

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Freddy Tsimba, the Congolese sculptor who gives life to death

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