Skip to content

Serge Mouangue featured on the cover of Collect Magazine, from the 5 stars Dorchester Collection hotels

View the July 2023 issue of Collect displaying Serge Mouangue’s work on its cover. The bi-annual magazine features a curated mix of culture, art and lifestyle, together with the latest news from Dorchester Collection hotels.

Collect Dorchester Collection Magazine, issue n°29, july 2023

The work of artist and designer Serge Mouangue commands a second look. And
a third. What drives Mouangue’s practice is what he calls the “third aesthetic”. It
combines aesthetic elements from two different cultures; the goal is to dismantle
a fixed sense of belonging in the viewer. Our culture, he believes, is not necessarily
our identity. In a similar way, we can feel “at home” in a place where we
were not born and raised. The project Wafrica, for example, uses typical African
textiles to craft traditional Japanese kimonos, each a unique piece. Another work,
entitled Blood Brothers, takes hand-carved wooden pygmy sculptures and treats
them with a traditional Japanese lacquer. Mouangue worked for two years with
Masaru Okawara, a ninth-generation master serving the Emperor of Japan for
over 40 years. After coats of lacquer, the surface is then polished with Japanese
deer horn powder by the palm of the hand, in a captivating mix of original
African symbolic art and profound Japanese tradition. Throughout each of his
creative processes, materials are his master. He is beholden to their rhythm and
native particularities. With family origins in Cameroon, Africa, Serge Mouangue
was raised in a Parisian banlieue where the population was largely first-generation
immigrants. Whilst his parents had other studies in view for him, he went on
to study art in Paris and Europe, before living abroad in Australia and Japan for
many years. “Vive la différence” is a French phrase meaning “long live difference”,
often used to celebrate diversity. Serge Mouangue gets to the heart of this; in
juxtaposing differences he gives their unity an entirely independent existence. His
work goes into the unexpected. So we take another look at it, and at ourselves.

Photo credits, clockwise from top left: Véronique Huyghe – Mario Simon, Silvija Drazdziulyte, Yuji Zendu, Véronique Huyghe

Share this