Country: Ethiopia  •   Medium: Oil on canvas

Zerihun Seyoum has been interested in art for nearly as long as he can remember, and since the age of 7 has focused his attention on art almost exclusively. By the time he was 13 years old Zerihun had won a prestigious art award from the Ethiopian Ministry of Education, for a drawing that advocated for people in Ethiopia living with HIV/AIDS, establishing his interest in subjects of a contemporary nature.

Along with his other studies, he immersed himself in art during the four years of his high school education, exploring both drawing and painting. Upon graduation from high school, Zerihun pursued a diploma in Fine Arts and Design (Painting) at Addis Ababa University, graduating in the year 2000.

Following his studies at Addis Ababa University, Zerihun taught art for three years in
various art schools in and around Addis Ababa. Teaching art allowed him to hone his
artistic skills, while nurturing his own passion for art and instilling that passion in others.

With these experiences in mind, Zerihun determined to establish his own studio and teaching centre, which he opened in 2003 and named “Embassy of Ideas”. Since that time Embassy of Ideas has evolved into an environment that welcomes other artists from Ethiopia and around the world – becoming an embassy of collaboration and creativity.

Zerihun’s university education introduced him to Western artistic traditions and painting styles, and his early work has a basis in a realistic, representational approach. After graduation, however, Zerihun found himself returning to stories from his childhood and traditional Ethiopian art forms, while also incorporating ideas from the Expressionist and other Modern art movements.

This fusion of artistic influence results in a distinctive painting style, in which bold colour and geometric patterning create dynamic figures, shapes and textures.

2012: Axum Coffee House, Brussels, Belgium
2011: New York Art Expo, New York, USA
2010: German House GIZ, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2009: National Museum of History London, United
2008: Embassy of Ideas, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2007: Faculty of Technology Addis Ababa
University, Ethiopia
2006: Alem Gallery, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
German Culture Institute, Addis Ababa,
University of Applied Art and Science,
Schwabish, Germany
2005: Goethe Institute – Gebrekirstos Desta
Contemporary Art Centre, Addis Ababa,
Ansi Gallery, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2004: German School, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Embassy of the United States of America,
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Embassy of Bulgaria, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
New York Art Expo, New York, USA
Alliance Ethio-Francese, Addis Ababa,
National Museum, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2002:Sheraton Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2001: Alliance Ethio-Francese, Addis Ababa,
2000: School of Fine Arts, Addis Ababa University
1999: Geothe Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
1998: Alliance Ethio-Francese, Addis Ababa,