Muhamed Kafedžić – Muha
ムハメッド カフェジッチ 無派

7 August 2016
Lake Kawaguchi below Mount Fuji
 

“I’d rather be a pig than a fascist”
– ポルコ・ロッソ(Porco Rosso)

I was born in 1977 in Zenica, in Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, or, just Yugoslavia for short, with atheist but multicultural and interreligious upbringing. My hometown was built around large steel plant that was the foundation for economic and cultural prospect of the city. Artists were often financed directly by steel company and used their large hangars as studios or exhibiting space. To many it was also an inspiration for their work.

But that is gone, together with economic and cultural prospect. The Bosnian War (1992-1995) scarred my teenage hood and high school years and left me with devastated country with wounded and scattered families, destroyed economy, cultural decadence and government body created in a way to maintain status quo in frozen state of constant war. In an effort to enforce peace with agreement the US and EU created Frankenstein’s monster- the government system that is fully open to corruption, local and international, creation that is growing malignant cancer feeding on people´s fear and national rhetoric while sucking IMF tit. The post war time finished what war has started, and all cultural assets that don´t serve national rhetoric of ruling parties are left to perish. So don´t be surprised if you find out that our museums and galleries are closed in time of your visit.

I moved to Sarajevo in 1996 and it has been my hometown ever since. I enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo, twice- gaining BA in Art Education and Magister Degree in Painting.

My artwork has foundation in two sources that I believe is one source spreading through the time and space with its starting source in Japan of Edo period, moving to France and Austria during Impressionism, Post-impressionism and Vienna Secession and then shifting to American continent. Those sources for me are Ukiyo-e and American Pop Art. So my sensei(s) are Hokusai and Roy Lichtenstein and my paintings are usually dominated by flatness and strong emphasis of drawing. American Pop Art embodies my pure love for comics and animation that I had since my early childhood and Ukiyo-e became a source for the virtues and joys of life that has been eradicated from my home country and replaced with American consumerism fed by raw capitalism without sense of social responsibility. In general, Japan has been the focus of my research both for my professional and personal development and for fun.

Being Bosnian with the recognizable Muslim name, educated in classical art academia rooted in Western Arts educational system founded in Europe, researching Eastern Arts and traditions for the last 15 years on my own I had to create an artist identity that will have to nullify my background and nullify or confuse established stereotypes in viewer. Therefore I have 3 different signatures,

muha

This is my signature based on Japanese characters 無派 with meaning “to not belong to any party or school of thought”, witch perfectly suits me, as my arts have many roots and therefore it cannot belong to only one tradition.

muha

Form based on Japanese characters (hae) meaning „single fly“, but also “unimportant man”. This signature is used on my paintings from series 100 Views of Ukiyo-e and it is in tradition of early days’ Impressionist excitement with Ukiyo-e prints and all things which are Japanese. Here I am a “gaijin” genuinely in love with Japanese woodblock prints.

Utamaro Lichtenstein

Unlike previous two that mostly deal with (my personal) identity of artist and question identity through the history of fine arts, this one is primarily questioning the role of history and geo-political influence on fine arts. It is series of painting with “what if” situation. The name is obviously a fusion of Kitagawa Utamaro, whose prints influenced French Impressionists the most, and Roy Lichtenstein.

I also found music to be major part of my artwork, in more spiritual and transcendent way, and for my spiritual grandfathers I chose Bob Marley, David Bowie and Dean Martin. In music I always find freedom and emotions that inspire me to do new work, to try something different, to boldly go… And as for my work in education it is concentrated on non-formal education in the form of workshops, where I use comics and street art with youth to communicate their needs.

For my greatest achievement I will present it in a way of my understanding of Ukiyo-e and that is down to earth love of life – I am a beloved husband and a father of two. And I was told by my Japanese friend that I looked like a Japanese farmer on the photo of me taken at Lake Kawaguchi below mountain Fuji. Nothing can top that!

Additional texts about my artwork done by art historian & curator, people with skills to dissect art and sometimes artists 🙂 can be found here:

Research essay Ukiyo-e between Pop Art and (Trans)cultural Appropriation: On the Art of Muhamed Kafedžić – Muha by Srđan Tunić, Transcultural Studies Nr. 1 (2017), Heidelberg University Publishing

Review Pop Art and pop art by Amalija Stojsavljević, art historian

Exhibitions
Solo
  • Exhibition of drawings Return of the Spaceboy, Café Gallery, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2003
  • Exhibition of drawings Return of the Spaceboy, CSI, Sarajevo, B&H, 2003
  • Exhibition of paintings Massive Matrix Attack, Little Gallery, Coltan Festival, Bihać, B&H, 2005
  • Exhibition of paintings 100 Views of Ukiyo-e, City Gallery, Bihać, B&H, 2012
  • Exhibition of paintings 100 Views of Ukiyo-e, City Museum, Zenica, B&H, 2012
  • Magister Exhibition of paintings 100 Views of Ukiyo-e, Gallery of Academy of Fine Arts, Sarajevo, B&H, 2012
  • Exhibition of paintings and digital art prints Muha in Black Box, BlackBox Print Shop & Gallery, Sarajevo, B&H, 2013
  • Exhibition of paintings 100 Views of Ukiyo-e, City Gallery COLLEGIUM ARTISTICUM, Sarajevo, B&H, 2013
  • Exhibition of paintings and digital art prints Muha in Black Box 3, BlackBox Print Shop & Gallery, Sarajevo, B&H, 2014
  • Exhibition of digital art prints “La Tradizione del Mondo Fluttuante – Muha & BlackBOX”, Cultural Center “Alda Merini” Torino di Sangro, Italy, 2017
  • Photo Exhibition Nostalgia, BlackBox Print Shop & Gallery, Sarajevo, B&H, 2017
  • Private Exhibition of Paintings “I Don’t Think We Are on Canvas Anymore“, Atelier, Sarajevo, B&H, 2019
Group
  • Exhibition of comic artists at Comic School @ CSI, Sarajevo, B&H, 2003
  • Exhibition of comic artists GRRR!3, Gallery of contemporary arts Pančevo, GRRR!3 International Festival of Comics, Pančevo, Serbia 2004
  • Exhibition of comic artists 4. International Showroom of Comics, Happy Gallery, Students Cultural Center, Beograd, Serbia 2006
  • Exhibition of comic artists Bitta Generation, Palazzo d’Avalos, Sala Michelangelo, Vasto, Italy 2009
  • Art Colony “Duga” , Sarajevo, B&H, 2009-2011
  • Minimum Maximum 3, Museum of Republika Srpska, Banja Luka, B&H, 2012
  • Art Workshop, Cafe Gallery Zvono, Sarajevo, B&H, 2012
  • Bitta Generation 2012, wall painting Great Wave of Pancevo, Pančevo, Serbia 2012
  • Bosnia And Herzegovina Association Of Visual Artists – 65 Annual Exhibiton 2012, City Gallery COLLEGIUM ARTISTICUM, Sarajevo, B&H, 2012
  • Stories from Počitelj, Gallery Roman Perović, Sarajevo, B&H, 2012
  • Collegium Artisticum 2013 (Award in the Category of Painting), City Gallery Collegium Artisticum, Sarajevo, B&H, 2013
  • Art Colony Vranduk 2013, City Museum (Synagogue), Zenica, B&H, 2013
  • Bosnian\Art, Rosenberg Gallery @ Goucher College, Blatimore, US-MD, 2013
  • 66 ULUBIH Annual Review Exhibition, City Gallery Collegium Artisticum, Sarajevo, B&H, 2013
  • Collegium Artisticum 2014, City Gallery Collegium Artisticum, Sarajevo, B&H, 2014
  • Exhibition of Photography MOnuMENTI by Marko Krojač with animated video MOnuMENTImotion by Muhamed Kafedžić Muha, Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, B&H, 2014
  • DECODING – Contemporary Art in Bosnia and Herzegovina, National Museum of Montenegro, Gallery Miodrag Dado Đurić, Cetinje, Montenegro, 2014
  • 67 ULUBIH Annual Review Exhibition, City Gallery Collegium Artisticum, Sarajevo, B&H, 2014
  • INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION AND AUCTION for the benefit of the children in the orphanage center Rainbow, Pasinger Fabrik, Munich, Germany, 2014
  • Collegium Artisticum 2015, City Gallery Collegium Artisticum, Sarajevo, B&H, 2015
  • Images of Our Time – Works from the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo, Pera Museum, Istanbul,Turkey, 2015
  • International Art Auction for the benefit of the children in the orphanage center Rainbow, Art goes Underground, Munich, Germany, 2015
  • 5 Anniversary Exhibition of Black Box, BlackBox Print Shop & Gallery, Sarajevo, B&H, 2016
  • All We Could Have Done (and What We Can Do Now), Group Exhibition at Sophia University, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan, 2016
  • 20 Artists for 20 Years, Group Exhibition at Takanawa Civic Center Gallery, Minato, Tokyo, Japan, 2016
  • Internationale Kunstauktion zum Wohle der Kinder im Kinderheim Centar Duga, Hofbräuhaus München, Munich, Germany, 2016
  • Internationale Kunstauktion zum Wohle der Kinder im Kinderheim Centar Duga, Art goes Underground – KunstEvent, Munich, Germany, 2018
  • 20 Years of the City Gallery of Bihać, City Gallery, Bihać, B&H, 2018
  • Recycle BiX, City Gallery Collegium Artisticum, Sarajevo, B&H, 2019
  • Images of Modernity, Bosniak Institute – Adil Zulfikarpašić Foundation, Sarajevo, B&H, 2019
Art Colonies, Workshops & Events
Art Colony
  • International Art Colony Vranduk, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2007
  • International Art Colony Duga, Kulen Vakuf, B&H, 2009
  • International Comic Workshop Bitta Generation, Vasto, Italy 2009
  • International Art Colony Duga, Kulen Vakuf, B&H, 2010
  • International Art Colony Duga, Kulen Vakuf, B&H, 2011
  • International Art Colony Duga, Kulen Vakuf, B&H, 2012
  • International Art Colony Počitelj, Čapljina, B&H, 2012
  • International Art Colony Duga, Kulen Vakuf, B&H, 2013
  • International Art Colony Duga, Kulen Vakuf, B&H, 2014
  • International Art Colony Duga, Kulen Vakuf, B&H, 2015
  • International Art Colony Duga, Kulen Vakuf, B&H, 2018
  • International Art Colony Duga, Kulen Vakuf, B&H, 2019
Workshop
  • Workshop leader for comics session in primary school Hrasnica, Sarajevo, B&H, 2003
  • Founder, coordinator and workshop leader of Comic School at CSI, Iliđa, Sarajevo, B&H, 2003, 2004
  • Organizer of Workshop by comic artist Aleksandar Zograf @ Comic School @ CSI, Iliđa, Sarajevo, B&H, 2004
  • Organizer of Workshop by comic artist Maja Veselinović @ Comic School @ CSI, Iliđa, Sarajevo, B&H, 2004
  • Workshop leader for Street art Bitta Generation 2012, Pančevo, Serbia, 2012
  • Guest Artist @ International Meeting of “Youth Centers & Urban Culture 2013”, Banja Luka, B&H, 2013
  • Short lecture on Anime, Japanese animation, @ Academy of Fine Arts, Sarajevo, B&H, 2013
  • Workshop leader comics sessions on topic of Nonviolence @ KidsFest 2013, Sarajevo, B&H, 2013
  • Street Art Workshop leader for the World Vision´s Art Network Project, Banovići, B&H, 2013
  • Street Art Workshop leader for the World Vision´s Art Network Project, Petrovo, B&H, 2013
  • Street Art Workshop leader for the World Vision´s Art Network Project, Poljice, B&H, 2013
  • Leader of Street Art Workshop on World Vision´s Art Network Project, Banovići-Petrovo-Poljice, B&H, 2013
  • Guest Artist @ International Meeting “make it possible: Youth Centers & Urban Street Culture”, Berlin, Germany, 2013
  • Workshop leaders with Marko Krojač (photo journalist) and Michele Parente (forumZFD) MOnuMENTImotion- The Art of Dealing with the Past in Western Balkans by forumZFD, Sarajevo, B&H, 2014
  • Workshop leader with Michele Parente (forumZFD) MOnuMENTImotion – The Art of Dealing with the Past for Reconciliation, @ International Youth Conference Mlada Evropa, Sarajevo, B&H, 2014
  • MemorInmotion – Culture of remembrance Workshops, the Days of Peace – Citizens in solidarity for the Peace, Doboj, Tešanj, Banja Luka, B&H, 2014
  • UN Day, Mural Workshop, Doboj, B&H, 2014
  • Guest Artist @ “Art and creativity to promote human and social rights” Workshop, Torino di Sangro, Italy, 2015
  • Guest Artist @ “Youth Centres and youth inclusion: creativity and artistic expression” Workshop, Vasto, Italy, 2015
  • Guest Artist @ “Creative expression to promote Human Rights” Workshop, Verviers, Belgium, 2015
  • Coordinator of street art workshop “Youth inclusion and participation through green areas”, Torino di Sangro, Italy, 2017
Event
  • Coordination of Comic School @ CSI, Sarajevo, B&H, 2003-2004
  • Member of organizing committee for the Best Bosnian Comic Award 2004, Sarajevo, B&H, 2004
  • Organizer of promotion for Enki Bilal´s graphic novel 32. December, in Sarajevo, B&H, and Zagreb, Croatia, 2004
  • Presenter at GRRR! 3 – International Comics Festival, Pančevo, Serbia, 2004
  • Organizer Group Exhibition of comic artists, at CSI, Sarajevo, B&H, 2004
  • Organizer Group Exhibition of the Best Bosnian Comic Award 2004, at CSI, Sarajevo, B&H, 2004
  • Organizer of promotion for Enki Bilal´s graphic novel 4?, Sarajevo, B&H, 2007
  • Full member of the Association of Visual Artist, Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2012. Left Association on October 2015.
  • 100 VIEWS OF UKIYO-E Presentation of the work @ Dom Kulture Studentski Grad, Beograd, Republic of Serbia 2013
  • Forum How to be Anime Otaku on Balkan @ Dom Kulture Studentski Grad, Beograd, Republic of Serbia 2013
  • MOnuMENTImotion Premiere and Round-table @ PeaceEventSarajevo, Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, B&H, 2014
  • MOnuMENTImotion @ Anibar Animation Festival 2014 Peć, Kosovo, 2014
  • Memory Walk B&H & MOnuMENTImotion Screening & Q&A, Kriterion, Sarajevo, B&H, 2014
  • MOnuMENTImotion Screening @ Sarajevo FIlm Festival, B&H, 2014
  • Days of Peace – Citizens in solidarity for the Peace, Doboj, Tešanj, Banja Luka, B&H, 2014
  • MOnuMENTImotion in selection of IWM Short Film Festival 2014, London, UK, 2014
  • Sara Art Fair 2015, Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, B&H, 2015
  • MOnuMENTImotion in selection of INTERNATIONAL ANIMATED FILM FESTIVAL ‘’BANJALUKA 2015”, Banja Luka, B&H, 2015
  • Curator of the Muha + Blackbox present Celovi iz Anima / Anime Cels 1978 – 1984 Exhibition, BlackBox Print Shop & Gallery, Sarajevo, B&H, 2017
  • MOnuMENTImotion in selection of the 4th Festival of Contemporary Art “arTz”, Tuzla, B&H, 2017
  • Lecture Everything in Japan is Art or How to Live without Mori Gallery and Ghibli Museum, for the exhibition “Winter Garden: The Exploration of the Micropop Imagination in Contemporary Japanese Art” at the National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, B&H, 2018