Xenson - Untitled (detail), 2016

Xenson /   Samson Ssenkaaba

Uganda 1978

Installation, Performance Art, Video Art, Painting


Samson Ssenkaaba
September 20, 2017
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Samson Ssenkaaba, better known as Xenson, is a Ugandan artist who follows a multidisciplinary approach that includes fashion, performances, installations, videos, and painting. His work explores contemporary issues of identity and consumption, human excess and the global circulation of cultures. As a lonely dreamer, Xenson was decisively influenced by the greatness of African culture, the vitality of African dance and hip-hop as a free expressive art form. After switching from the engineering school to the Makerere Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Art, he graduated with a diploma. Since then, his work has been shown in various exhibitions, performances, and installations in and outside of Uganda.

xenson artworks
Xenson – Untitled, 2016 (Left) / Untitled, 2016 (Right)

Xenson Art

One of Xenson’s latest body of work titled Barakoa (the Swahili word for mask) explores humanity’s obsessive tendency to hide behind facades, visible or invisible. It highlights but also demystifies pre-conceived and stereotyped identities. The artist intentionally creates a perceived aesthetic of flowers, patterning and bright colors around this otherwise unsettling subject matter. This superficial adaptation mutes the fear and disguises the impending tension that waits silently beneath surface. Whether hand painting clothes for his Art for Wear fashion label “XENSON”, live graffiti performances and back chops co-directing music videos and Hip-Hop shows or reciting his poetry, Ssenkaaba lives up to his motto, “creativity is limitless”.

“I am inspired by African culture that cuts across all tribal spectrums, craftsmanship, and authenticity to create modern sustainable contemporary African and new media art.”

The artist is represented by LKB/G Gallery.

Xenson lives and works in Kampala, Uganda.

Featured image: Xenson – Untitled (detail), 2016
All images courtesy LKB/G Gallery

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2017ART TRANSPOSITION: Kampala - Nairobi - HamburgLKB-G, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2017Kampala ContemporaryKassel, GermanyGroup
2016Kampala Art BiennaleKampala UgandaGroup
2015Kampala ContemporaryCircle Art Gallery, Nairobi, KenyaGroup
2014Johannesburg Art FairJohannesburg, South AfricaGroup
2014KLA ARTKampala, UgandaGroup
2014The Lubare and the BoatDeveron Arts, Huntly, ScotlandGroup
2014Future of Africa summitParis, FranceGroup
2014Africa now: Fashioning person hoodMinneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, USAGroup
2012KLA ART 2012UgandaGroup