Abdias Ngateu, visual artist
Could you introduce yourself?
I’m Ngateu Kemamen Abdias Aldovic. My artist name is Abdias Ngateu. I was born in 1990 in Douala in Cameroon. I live and work there. I had an interest very early in drawing and graphic art. In addition to my secondary studies, I followed a training at the age of 14 in graphic and decorative arts. I realized very quickly, at 16, that the visual arts constitute the antidote to mental and societal punishments.
So, like a good soldier thirsty for knowledge, I went to artists’ studios, multiplied artistic training and residency. I later enrolled in the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, in the sociology department of the University of Douala in Cameroon, where I am endowed with an iron mind coupled with a rare modesty to integrate myself comfortably into the world of visual artists from Cameroon.
I define myself today as a contemporary visual artist, a free and independent person.
Who are the artists you admire? Who inspired you?
Since entering art in 2011, I have always admired artists like Achille Ka Komguem with whom I am still working. There are also famous Cameroonian artists like Pascale Martine Tayou and Barthelemy Toguo.
What do your works reflect?
My works generally reflect contemporary society. I present it through paintings, artistic installations, art photographs and performances.
What is your particularity?
What makes me special is that I transcribe my perception of life by attributing animal heads to my characters. I present in my work a precariousness in terms of overloads in transport around the world. My art is a free and contemporary art
Where does your inspiration come from?
I draw my inspiration from urban space, contemporary society and my urban experience. I am motivated by this desire to share with others my most intimate feelings, my personal emotions and my vision of this chaotic world.
How do you work?
My creative process starts with taking photographs of urban scenes where precarious elements are imposed in the field of urban transport. Then I go through the reproduction of these scenes on canvas before modifying the faces of people into animals. And each animal embodies the living behavior of the highlighted character.
What is your favorite step in the making?
I feel more comfortable when I do the color shots. Because this moment is like when you make love: there is a mixture of colors, a game of harmony in order to find the ecstasy that this fluorescence result gives me.
When you start a creation, do you have a precise idea of the desired outcome?
Before starting a painting I know beforehand what result I will achieve. But it sometimes happens that when I paint I have a new idea which pushes me to modify the trajectory taken.
What is the flagship work of your creations? This is the canvas “Dehumanization”, canvas with which I received the “Pascale Martine Tayou” Prize in 2017 during the national competition organized by the doual’art space during the triennial urban fair in Douala with the theme of human place.
What are your current projects?
I am currently preparing a duo exhibition with the “Out Of Africa” Gallery in Spain in Summer 2020. Then, there will be a solo exhibition in Luxembourg with the “Ruth” Gallery.