The Davidoff Art Initiative brings artists from around the world to our community for a few months each year. These artists in residence have been creating for weeks now, gaining inspiration from all the beautiful things our country has to offer. One of these artists is photographer Mimi Cherono Ng’ok from Nairobi, Kenya.
Mimi, born in 1983, studied photography at the University of Cape Town and since her graduation in 2006, she has presented solo exhibitions around the world. Her photography explores space, people, and the memories associated with them and how these themes have impacted her overall journey through life. Mimi grew up between Kenya and South Africa and much of her work is centered around the issues of home and identity. She has studied the intimacy of places, the nostalgia of cities, and the avenues of heartbreak, paying close attention to ideas of loss and displacement.
Mimi views her work as a catalogue of her life’s journey, each photograph collecting moments, memorabilia, that often represent much more than what can be seen by the naked eye. Each photograph holds with it a story, and bookmarks a time in her life. She especially feels a connection with trees, horses, and the tropics.
Mimi builds on her life story with each photograph that she takes. She explains in her artist statement, “My work now consists of collecting memory, of the places I encounter, documenting the familiar, the every day, and the mundane. The encounters are always different, almost like new lovers. I bookmark geographical locations with landmarks of affect: I was here when my friend passed away, this is where I have a home: a family. This is the place I longed to be and couldn’t stay. The photographs are not about one country, one city or one place, but are an emotional cartography of where I have been. It is a series of vignettes on travel, loss, memory and the impossibility of getting there when you need to the most. The photographs record different places—they are a reflection of my life.”
ABOUT THE DAVIDOFF ART INITIATIVE RESIDENCY
The centerpiece of the Davidoff Art Initiative is the Davidoff Art Residency.
Each year, the Davidoff Art Residency offers residency positions for Caribbean artists who participate in five artist-residency programs worldwide, as well as for approximately five artists from outside the Caribbean region who spend three months in the Dominican Republic. A limited number of positions are also reserved for curators and writers working on projects of relevance to Caribbean art.
Artist residency programs help working artists develop their skills, make connections within global networks, earn exposure for their work, and share their expertise with others. In offering emerging and mid-career artists an opportunity to spend an extended period of time working in a different social and creative environment from their own, the Davidoff Art Residency serves as a conduit for professional mobility, cultural immersion, and creative exchange.
* Information and pictures from davidoffartinitiative.com