MIAF: Promoting Mauritian Artists at International Level

Written on 07/30/2019
Panda & Wolf Advertising Agency

No matter who you are, or what part of the world you live in, Art has a way of lifting  spirits.  It helps us to express our vision through many different ways. We can be directly impacted by its power and emotions. To promote this field, the Mauritius International Art Fair will host an exhibition from August 8th to 11th 2019 at Le Caudan Art center, The first Edition upholds the essence of Art: ''Fostering Unity celebrating Differences”. The event will gather artists coming from all continents and is set to position Mauritius as a Cultural Hub globally.

Who are these artists?

Artists give meaning to life, and on the occasion of the MIAF, five Mauritian artists will be part of these wonderful celebrations. Through different styles and different perspectives, you will be transported into different artistic realities and they will make you travel to subconscious places that you didn't know existed.

Joanna L. Golabek

Joanna L. Golabek is an experienced artist who studied the differences between artists and artisans in Africa. Throughout her studies, she explored the role of culture in the development of the African continent. Born in Poland in 1980, she now lives in Mauritius. After many years of learning the rich History of African Art, she eventually decided to follow her guts and went for her dreams. Golabek says she's got a special connection with shapes and colours and that definitely translates beautifully into her work.

Nowadays, she contributes to intercultural dialogue s on the Island through her work. While Africa is central to her work, Golabek draws her inspiration from a plethora of artists such as Les Rogers, Anne-Sophie Tschiegg, Igor Moritz, Robert Pokorny, Marc Guiragosian, George Rouy, Portia Zvavahera, William LaChance and many  others including Picasso and Mark Rothko. According to her, having her work featured at the MIAF represents a fantastic opportunity to showcase her unique take on Art. She also looks forward to interacting with people who share similar interests so as to expand her artistic network. Joanna L. Golabek believes that Mauritius needs initiatives like the MIAF:"It is a small island and every artist who lives here and who wants to earn his life from art making has no other choice than to search for opportunities abroad. The art market in Mauritius is too small, opening towards foreign countries is therfore necessary and MIAF can help a lot in this. " she stated. 



Didier wong Chi Man is a Mauritian painter born in 1975 who has settled in France. He has been working as an Applied Arts teacher for 11 years now. Having a pictorial practice that brings him closer to that of Jean-Michel Basquiat, he mainly explores the power of acrylic while using both pastels, markers, and paintballs (spray). What makes his paintings fascinating is that on the same board, you may come across elements that have nothing to do with own another. It is up to the viewer to shape his own interpretation, to find connections if there are any as there can be multiple possible readings.

His work is also a mixture of words, phrases in different languages ​​(French, English, Creole, Chinese), patterns, puns, all blending harmoniously together to produce what Edouard Glissant (poet, writer, thinker, and intellectual hailing from Martinique) calls the creolization. Thanks to his rich experience, Didier Wong Chi Man is an accomplished artist but also a writer who has been featured on several occasions in the local press . His work was brought to prominence thanks to his unique takes on a variety of societal topics. According to him, the MIAF can be a lever to boost the artistic practice and economy of the Mauritian Art Industry. 

Yusuf Makey

Yusuf Makey is a painter born in Bristol, England in 1983. Throughout his studies, he has focused exclusively on expanding his creativity and artistic imagination. He started painting at the University of South Wales in Newport. Before that, he mainly created sculptures, explored fashion, photography and 3D drawings. After his tertiary studies, he returned to Mauritius at the age of 22 and tried his best to make a name for himself in the world of art. From the experience  he gained over time, he decided to start his own company Yusarts in 2010. He opened an 8-room gallery in that same year to publicly showcase his love for painting, photography, interior design and sculptures.

Since then, he has been able to work on various renowned public spaces like - Vona Corona Ice Cream Parlour at Rose-Hill. Last year, he had the honor of renovating the house of Father Laval, which is one of the prestigious highlights of his career.


Dharmadeo Nirmal Hurry

Dharmadeo Nirmal Hurry is a Mauritian painter born in 1961. Hurry lives in Anse la Raie and is married with two adorable daughters. He now works as a senior lecturer at MGI. Over the years, he had the opportunity to participate in exhibitions, residencies and national, regional and international workshops. He became known to the public for The Rose Hill Fountain of Arts, the Workers Monument, the Caudan Memorial, the Fine 9 Sculpture, the metal sculpture of the SSR International Airport, the Azuri Tree, Kaya at the Mother City Theresa in Triolet and the MGI Folk Museum. He therefore authentically incarnates Mauritian Art at its best. 

No doubt, Hurry is a talented artist that the Mauritian public is not about to forget. In his work, there are three levels of research that can be found: The first is very personal: he tells his story, his own experiences. Then, it is through the material that he brings back to life he gives life. And finally, in his quest to transform scrap into Art, he often puts himself in the skin of a garbage man to clean Mauritius. 

Today, Hurry explores Mauritian multi-identity spectrum by allowing himself to be inspired by society, politics, economy, environment, culture, religion and history of Mauritius. During the MIAF, Hurry will have the chance to rub shoulders with other artists. He regrets that Mauritius does not have a national gallery or museum but truly feels that this event can propel the level of creativity, aesthetic sense and give new perspectives to children, students, to the general public and senior citizens, not forgetting budding artists and established artists.

Brian Lamoureux

Brian Lamoureux is a Mauritian painter born in 1982. Father of a small family, this young artist now lives in Port-Louis and takes great pleasure in roaming its streets in search for inspiration. Although drawing is his main passion, he works as a full-time designer at Tropic Knits. His main ambition as an artist is to inspire people to create  - He believes in letting go and letting your hand flow onto a piece of paper without fear. He finds his inspiration almost everywhere from floral compositions to portraits, architecture to boats - anything really! And from the muses he meets, stunningly realistic illustrations are often born.

Many of his drawings actually convey a very strong message:  we must preserve whatever is left of our heritage and cherish it for the next generations.  He has been influenced by renowned artists such as Club Dorothee, Paul Hogarth, Master of the Art drawing, Egon Sheila for her works, Dean Mitchell, for her wonderful watercolors. Brian's work was brought to light thanks to the festival Porlwi By Light. He regularly publishes his work on Facebook or Instagram.  Brian Lamoureux is a promising artist, who evolves from day to day and who truly adds value to the Mauritian culture.

Why this event?

Credits: Joanna L. Golabek

We may be on an African island where diversity is in full swing but differences are what bring us together. This event aims to connect several continents, allowing artists to learn more about each other. If a creative piece by an artist can spark the discussion of whether or not it is an art, then it is art. This exhibition enriches the arts in Mauritius by offering opportunities for mutual sharing, questioning, learning, understanding, and change. 

Further, this will be a unique platform for artists the chance to share their vision of the world. Mauritian designers will also be highlighted! These young artists were selected by the artistic committee of the Fair. Throughout the event, one and all will have the chance to attend several artistic performances, to chat with participants, to take part in workshops - among other things. It would be a shame to miss that, don’t you believe?

Come in crowds to support our local artists from August 8th to 11th!