SOI, MICHAEL

Country: Kenya  •   Medium: Acrylics

Born in 1972, Michael graduated from art school in 1996 and now works as a full time artist in Nairobi, Kenya.

Michael worked with Kuona Trust from 1996 to 2009. He was the coordinator in charge of International Exchange of the Wasanii International Artists’ Workshop and The International Artist Residency in Kenya.

He says his work is as simple as can be. “I try to create an attitude of what you see might be what you get from it. “I am involved in work that deletes, distorts and changes various images into what I want them to be, and am excited by the subtle play that erasure seems to create when executed in certain ways.”

'My work mostly touches on issues related to the youth like fashion trends, music and life in general. It is not about the suppression of images or the negation of what the image represents, but is about obscuring the images in order to create a different relationship between the final piece and the viewer.

Selected group exhibitions:

• Complicated Socialization Goethe Institute, Nairobi
• Ashes French Cultural and Cooperation Centre, Nairobi
• First residency Nairobi Museum
• African Art Paris, France
• Africa Salt Lake City Utah, USA
• Small towns UNEP Nairobi
• Best of Kuona Nairobi Museum
• Kenya Museum Arts Festival Nairobi Museum
• Contemporary Kenyan Art Vienna, Austria
• Kenya Museum Arts festival Nairobi
• Best of Kuona Nairobi Museum
• Wasanii 2000 Nairobi Museum
• Concepts Vienna, Austria
• Workshop output Ipsden Park, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
• Inner space Blue Rhino, Nairobi
• Kenyan Art Exhibition Five Myles Gallery Brooklyn, New York, USA
• Kenya Museum Arts Festival Nairobi Museum
• Home French Cultural and Co-operation Center, Nairobi
• Spirit of Friendship Midlands Art Center, Birmingham, United Kingdom
• South Africa National Gallery Cape Town, South Africa
• Stereotypes Kuona Trust Gallery, Nairobi

Selected joint exhibitions

Untitled, with Spanish artist Miguel Costales Ramoma Museum of Modern Art Nairobi
The 3 some with Kenyan painter Beatrice Wanjiku Godown Art Centre Gallery
God’s Kitchen with Kenyan artist Ogonga Thom Gallery of Contemporary African Art
Untitled with Kenyan painter Susan Mucoki Alliance Francaise, Nairobi

Solo exhibitions

Guns and roses Ramoma Museum of Modern Art Nairobi
Girls in the city Nairobi Java house
Untitled Gallery of Contemporary East African art
Dishing out GoDown Arts Centre Nairobi

Relevant projects

Coordinator Wasanii international artists workshop 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008
Coordinator International artist’s residency in Kenya 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006
Street children project 1998 - 2001
Sadolin (Kenya) Bus project 1998 - 2000

Selected international workshops and residencies

• Aftershave international artists workshop Jos, Nigeria
• Abro international artist’s workshop Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
• Triangle international artist’s workshop New York, United States
• Fonty’s Academy artist in residency Tilburg, The Netherlands
• Insaka international artists workshop Lusaka, Zambia
• Vivid media artist in residency Birmingham, United Kingdom
• Thupelo international artists workshop Cape Town, South Africa
• Brazier’s international artist’s workshop Ipsden, United Kingdom
• Wasanii international artist’s workshop Naivasha, Kenya
• Fordsburg artist’s in residency (bag factory) Johannesburg, South Africa
• First international residency programme Naivasha, Kenya
• Web design- British council Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Permanent collection
Casoria contemporary Art Museum Napoli, Italy - 2009