MITOCHONDRIA GALLERY

LIFE’S BLUEPRINT
Opening : 6 pm to 8:30 pm. Saturday. January 28th, 2023 

Public Viewing: January 28th to February 25th 2023 

Address: 2220 Commerce Street #D, Houston, TX 77002

Mitochondria Gallery is honored to present “Life’s Blueprint” a Solo Exhibition by Sesse Elangwe. What is your Life’s Blueprint? This is the question posed by Sesse Elangwe in a new body of work he is presenting for his second solo exhibition at Mitochondria Gallery in Houston Texas.
Sesse is challenging his audience to think about the plan of action for their life. He examines the mental fortitude, physical abilities, continuous dedication and diligence required to build a legacy in non ideal environments.
He is approaching this subject from the perspective of the embetterment of one’s self and the society at large. Sesse is presenting medium scale and large scale paintings that feature his signature asymmetrical large eye, which he employs as a symbol of enlightenment.
This body of work is inspired by the speech “What is your Life’s Blueprint” by Dr Martin Luther King.
Life’s Blueprint opens on the 28th of January from 6 pm to 8:30 pm.
Artist Talk with Sesse Elangwe hosted by Gina Evans: 6:45 pm to 7:30 pm.

EXHIBITED WORKS

Spiritual Glow. Acrylic on Canvas. 36 in. diameter. 2023
Chantier. Acrylic on canvas 36 in. diameter 2023
Portrait of Paul. Acrylic on canvas 36 in. diameter 2023
Golden Time. Acrylic on canvas 64 x 64 in. 2023
Pursuit of Light. Acrylic on canvas 50 x 50 in. 2023
Rise in Gloom. Acrylic on canvas 50 x 50 in. 2023
Hidden in the leaves. Acrylic on canvas 46 x 46 in. 2023
Portrait of Irene. Acrylic on canvas 50 x 50 in. 2023
Against all odds. crylic on canvas 50 x 50 in. 2023
Views from the blue side. Acrylic on canvas 36 x 36 in. 2023
Rejuvenation. Acrylic on canvas 78 x 64 in. 2023
On my way to washington. Acrylic on canvas 74 x 64 in. 2023

Curatorial Essay by Kendra Walker

Addressing issues of sustainability, self-assurance, and resilience Cameroonian artist Sesse Elangwe’s second solo exhibition at Mitochondria Gallery, Life’s Blueprint explores methods of success and fulfilment as well as comprehensive ideologies for effective integrations into American culture. Inspired by the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr.’s, a blueprint acts as the construction and framework to one’s life and moral justification.

Working in acrylic, Elangwe employs a variety of transcendent figures to interpret lifes’ lessons, words of encouragement, and humility. He uses sharply contrasted colors to represent topics in life, such as how individuals from diverse origins can coexist and function effectively. Elangwe draws on lessons and experiences he gained in America to encourage viewers to consider how a positive attitude can get you to your desired destination in life. To properly adopt to society there are fundamental factors that must be considered. Elangwe is combatting cultural norms and delving further into why these structures exist and how to thrive under these implied conditions. Additional themes such as womanhood, beauty, youth, transitional periods of life, financial literacy, and character development are also intwined in this series.

Using vibrant hues in single compositions, such as brilliant reds and deep blues, these paintings achieve a depth of emotion and vitality. The color blue appears repeatedly throughout the body of work, echoing the concept of a blueprint. The persistent use of blue creates an implied feeling of optimism and creates space for hope and transformation. The individuals’ black skin tones aid in series continuity and provide a layer of dimension defined by the body’s limits. Overall, a systematic style that merges surrealism, figuration, and a distinct color palette captivates the spectator for extended periods of time.

Elangwe emphasises detail in the attire of his subjects to identify the period his work was created. Positioning his characters in realistic settings and allowing the audience to develop their own conclusions about their individual circumstances. The figures are positioned in tranquil settings, blurring the limits between subjectivity in perception and precise reality. Elangwe portrays trivial moments, recreation, and labor, juxtaposing his subjects to the entire image. His signature enlarged eye remains consistent in the aims of probing enlightenment and engagement from the community. Reiterating the importance of being fully cognisant and attentive to take advantage of life’s opportunities.

At its core, this work elicits sympathy for life and emphasises the importance of a well-lived existence. Elangwe develops concepts for creating purposeful conversations on personal development and optimism. Ideating from a common American fear of homelessness, Lifes Blueprint, aims to demonstrate how to overcome obstacles to acquire basic living circumstances to advance in other aspects of life. Once fundamental living requirements are met, a foundation for pursuing ambitions is created. Life’s Blueprint expresses how to overcome challenges by staying consistent, and the key pillars of taking care of yourself in its most respectable forms. This body of work overall, stimulates self-reflection and compels you to consider how we might openly use these philosophies to heal and progress as a civilisation.

-Kendra Walker, Art Writer and Founder of Atlanta Art Week.

Studio Visit : Sesse Elangwe

About Sesse Elangwe

Sesse Elangwe (b. February 25, 1994) is a Cameroonian visual artist from the region of Buea. He currently lives and works in San Antonio, Texas. Sesse creates compelling paintings based on his digested response to personal and communal encounters that reflect his cultural and socio-political environment. Drawing aesthetics from realism, pop-art and surrealism, Sesse employs portraiture to critically document some of the conditions experienced by the Black community.

Sesse is a self-taught artist, who has been practicing professionally for over nine years. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Buea in Cameroon. He has participated in over 20 exhibitions that span four continents: Africa, Europe, North America, and Australia. The critical acclaim of Sesse’s debut solo exhibition ‘Dawn’ at Mitochondria Gallery catapulted him to the frontlines of international emerging artists. He was rated next by Sotheby’s auction house in October of 2022 at the Modern and Contemporary African Auction.

Works by Sesse are in prestigious collections across the globe such as The Green family art foundation (Dallas, Texas), W Art foundation (Shanghai, China), Xitang foundation (Beijing, China), Lester Marks collection (Houston, Texas), Schulting Collection (Amsterdam), Pamela Hornik Collection (Palo Alto, California), Tim Tan Collection (Manila, Philippines), Casauccelo Collection (Manila, Philippines), Owolabi Collection (Atlanta, Georgia), Craft Collection (Chicago, Illinois).

 Select Exhibitions


SOLO EXHIBITIONS
1. Life’s Blueprint. Mitochondria Gallery. Houston, TX. 2023
2. If we could talk. 193. Paris, France. 2022
3. Dawn. Mitochondria Gallery. Houston, TX. 2022

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
4. ‘In situ, Encounters of places. Ko’. Lagos, Nigeria. 2022
5. Traits to remember, the aesthetics and politics of black portraits. 193. Venice. Italy.
2022
6. Where is my hat. Showbonain. San Fransisco, California. 2021.
7. 19 Karen Gallery. Group Show. Australlia. 2021.
8. Patrimoine collectif contemporain, Group show,
Doualaart, Douala, Cameroon. 2021
9. Awakening. Group Show. Chilli Art Project. London. 2021
10. Concordant Conveyances. Mitochondria Gallery. Houston, Texas, USA. 2021
11. The Last Picture Show, Group show, Alliance Française Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria. 2021
12. Patrimoine collectif contemporain, Group show,
Doualaart, Douala, Cameroon. 2020
13. The Kai, Group show, Annie Kadji Gallery,
Douala, Cameroon. 2020
14. The Last Picture Show with Gondwana Art
Collective, Cur. Catherine Pittet, Douala, Cameroon. 2019.
15. The Last Picture Show with Gondwana Art
Collective, Cur. Catherine Pittet, Douala, Cameroon. 2018
16. Mur Mur Festival, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. 2018
17. Jeune Espoir, Douala Art, Douala, Cameroon. 2017
18. The Movement Africa. 2017
19. Akwa Palace Hotel, Douala, Cameroon. 2016.
20. Seme Beach Hotel, Limbe, Cameroon. 2015.
21. University of Buea, Joint exhibition with Max sako and Tango Emannuel, Buea,
Cameroon. 2015


ART FAIRS
1. Scope Art Fair. 193. Miami Florida
2.Contemporary Istanbul, 193. Istanbul, Turkey.
RESIDENCIES
The Fires Project, London. United Kingdom.


AWARDS
1. Festival Mur Mur, 2nd place winner,
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. 2018
2. Arts Chronicle, 3rd place, 3rd
place, and 1st place for 2014, 2012, and 2011 respectively.
3. 1st place at World Heritage. Patrimonito. Storyboard Competition by UNESCO.
2012
4. Six-time winner of Crayon de D’jino from 2007-2012.


Education
University of Buea. Cameroon. BSc. Political Science.

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