Shabu Mwangi was born in 1985 and began practicing art in 2003. He lives and works in Mukuru slum where he established the Wajukuu Art Project in 2013 with a deep conviction that his work could highlight the lives of the disadvantaged minorities in his community. Deeply concerned by society’s inequality and our lack of empathy for people with different social, political, ethnic and religious beliefs, his work seeks to examine human behaviour and our collective amnesia. His inspiration comes from the view that a lot of inequities and frustration deeply affects his society and the action that is taken, especially during highly sensitive political times, can give insight into who we are, how we are influenced politically and how we are divided culturally and socially.In his work, Shabu strives to examine human behaviour and interaction with each-other and what really drives us to a point of losing the sense of oneness and reaching a point where more focus is on our ego. He constantly reflects on our quest as human beings,: the acceptance of our condition and at the same time the view that we are forgetful, a kind of collective amnesia.
Mwangi has worked with art2be and Hope Worldwide and exhibitions include Pop-Up Africa, 2014, GAFRA, London; Out of the Slum, 2012 Essen, Germany and various group and solo exhibitions in Nairobi including a solo 'The Stateless' at Circle Art Gallery in 2017.
The Man with Two Shadows (2020)
In the new body of work under the collective title 'The Man with Two Shadows' Shabu strives to understand the balance between the two things that drive us, love and pain and how we react in different ways depending on which is dominant. This series traces an ongoing personal journey and will culminate in a solo exhibition in 2021.