GROUND LEVEL, COLES COURT ADJOINING GALLERY 1
ETHIOPIA, BORN 1974
LIVES AND WORKS IN ADDIS ABABA
The three photographs in Aïda Muluneh’s series Memory of Hope 2017 draw inspiration from traditional Ethiopian body ornamentation and tattoos. The bold colours and graphic patterns that feature on the body painting and clothing of her models are rich with cultural history and meaning. Muluneh uses these traditional elements of Ethiopian art to create a body of work that addresses the post-colonial experience in Africa and the ongoing ramifications for its local communities and the African diaspora globally. Discussing her work Muluneh wrote: ‘The international media are always consuming images not only about Ethiopia but across all of Africa related to stereotypes. But this place has so much complexity, and I’m witness to that complexity. There are so many subcultures, there are so many contemporary things happening here, there are so many cities with interesting people who are trying to change the continent.’
Aïda Muluneh was born in Ethiopia in 1974. She studied at Howard University, Washington D.C. and in 2000 began working as a photojournalist for the Washington Post. Three years later she began to exhibit her work and was included in the exhibition Ethiopian Passages: Dialogues in the Diaspora at the National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Museum, Washington. Since then she has held several solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group exhibitions in North America, Europe, and Africa. In 2018 Muluneh was included in Being: New Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Her work is held in the collections of the Smithsonian Museum, Washington, and the Hood Museum in Hanover, New Hampshire.
The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Major Supporter Bowness Family Foundation for their support.