Samson Kebede: Reminiscences of Enlightened Wisdom #1
LeLa Gallery, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia25 Jan 2020 - 16 Feb 2020
LeLa Gallery presents Reminiscences of Enlightened Wisdom #1, a solo exhibition by Ethiopian artist Samson Kebede.
Born in 1989 in Addis Ababa, Samson Kebede is known for his ‘Telsem’ paintings, which focus on esoteric wisdom. His paintings honour and reflect the ancient culture and traditions of Ethiopian art. Samson studied at the school of fine art and design at Addis Ababa University. There he studied ‘Telsem’ which is a part of traditional Ethiopian art. The Amharic word telsem is interpreted as: ‘to put something in symbolic/numeric or alphabetical form, which has a spiritual or philosophical meaning. Through his paintings, Samson tries to convey the spiritual, traditional and psychological aspects of human life. In ancient times Telsem was used for healing purposes, and was believed to bring relief to the body and soul. It could be applied in different ways including through herbal preparations, in the form of Kitab (magic scroll), by making tattoos (nksat) on the body, creating designs on the façade of houses, or by the reading out the magical text to heal the person.
LeLa is a contemporary fine arts space dedicated to the presentation of visual and multidisciplinary art, LeLa serves as an active partner to artists, supporting experimentation and innovation, and works to create links between artists and collectors, artisans and producers, and other interested members of the arts community.