'An Oblique Allusion' uses collage and illustrations of cartoon characters to depict specific pivotal moments in the history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Jenny-B Musungay has a strong sense of her Congolese identity and cultural heritage - rightly so as it is a very personal inheritance, steeped in an enduring history of conflict in her country of birth. Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has always been a result of international greed for the country’s incredible wealth of natural resources which includes diamonds, gold and more recently Coltan, a mineral used to make mobile phone and other essential 21stcentury technology.
Jenny is keen to use her art to illustrate political moments in the historical narrative of this beautiful land, using playful intentions juxtaposed with the darker side of life there. By using cartoon characters dressed in traditional Congalese patterned clothing - called 'Liputa' - against a background of diamonds to represent Congolese natural resources, her ‘An Oblique Allusion’ Collection aims to educate us about the country of her birth by showing us its positive side while - at the same time - focussing our attention on a political moment in time.
This collection is strongly influenced by her ancestry and the ancient traditions of The Congo through the use of cartoon characters, her affection for which is a more recent tradition within her own family. Jenny-B’s early years were spent in the DRC (a Belgian colony until 1960) where she grew up alongside Hollywood’s ubiquitous cartoon characters. In addition, the much loved Adventures of Tintin books, by Belgian cartoonist Herge, are particularly poignant because she still has strong memories of her late father reading them to her - and these books are still amongst her most treasured possessions today.
Jenny-B used nostalgia, inuendo and subliminal images to create these stunning comic book collages, taking pages torn from magazines to represent today’s society which she loves to explore and portray in her art. Always creating the piece before deciding on the title, Jenny-B is driven to reconcile her cultural heritage with today’s commercial appetite - and it is this which makes her work so fascinating with its intelligently, yet almost teasingly, political and cultural edge.