Maliza Kiasuwa

Born 1975 in Bucharest and raised in Kinshasa, (Democratic Republic of Congo)

Lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya


I live on a disaffected farm by the lake of Naivasha, in the hearth of the great Rift Valley. It is an African garden of Eden. The coexistence of these two worlds is an endless source of inspiration: my art reflects both the raw beauty of African wilderness and the African art of recycling, stitching and mending. My sculptures and collages are made of bits and pieces that I collect during my daily expeditions: cotton threads, handmade ropes made of straw or rubber, plastic bags stranded on the lake shore. Sometimes I combine local materials with handmade fabrics such as Japanese Washi paper. I like to put together stuff that does not belong together.


I am a self-taught artist, free from the formatting of art schools. I love creating works that produces stimulating and eclectic elements. I’m fascinated by natural laws that govern of the cycles of life and the power of nature. My interest in these transformative and regenerative processes come from a desire to understand the mystery of ageing and death as a process that is crucial to our existence. I slyly transform everyday articles combining reductive methods of shredding, twisting with constructive processes of tying, weaving stitching and dyeing. I give objects a new life and shape, while trying to preserve the integrity and the origin of each element of the process. I also paint and draw, and I like to switch from one to the other, but this is another story. Miles Davis said that jazz is the perfect combination between discipline and improvisation. I like that. Most of my artworks look like Totems, I tried to honor nature and reconcile man and nature by assembling various textures that I sow together as a surgeon would do after a serious injury.