Born in 1980 in Masaka, South-eastern district of Uganda to a Ugandan father and a Rwandese mother, Collin Sekajugo is a community conscious artist whose artistic practice is rooted in the community. Although he did not study art at school, in 2006 Sekajugo went on a study tour to several Eastern and Southern African countries that exposed him to new ideas of art making. It is this experience that has since shaped his art as a reflection of the society he lives in.
A multi-media artist, Sekajugo works largely on the subject of identity situating it in his locale: both locally and internationally. Therefore, his artworks explore or rather questions issues of social, cultural, economic and political identity within a larger context of the globe. Nonetheless, the artist often times deploys his figure as a central character in his paintings as a metaphor for his multi-ethnicity and to counter the prejudices that accompany such a complex identity. He also masks his subjects face or certain body parts to symbolize the dichotomy of identity versus discrimination based on ethnicity or social class.
The artist’s technique of recycling locally sourced material like barkcloth in his work is a response to the inclusion of indigenous concepts in his art as a way of defying the tradition of adopting western ideas into art from the continent. Conversely, Sekajugo’s collage paintings are symbolic of his relationship with the community: to create a narrative that the public can relate to through working with found objects like denim fabrics and waste paper. Ultimately, his collages invite conversation on durability and sustainability as a metaphor to the cliché Africa does not produce art.
As such, Sekajugo’s art has the distinction of being showcased in a permanent collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington D.C, showcased at the Cape Town Art Fair 2018, Art X Lagos 2018 and Young Guns 2018, a group show at Sulger-Buel Lovell Gallery, London, UK.