A Congolese born narrative painter, curator, and mural artist, Bayunga Kialeuka grew up in Miami (USA), where he worked as an artist before moving to other US cities, all the while variably travelling to DRC. His work focuses on themes of social realism, investigating society through the prismatic lenses of economic ecosystems, race and cultural identity.
While in the USA, the artist started working along the lines of classicism and modernism to represent his immediate urban surroundings, focusing on the African American context. From his point of view as a perpetual immigrant, Kialeuka’s work translates how Black America is still subdued by these three dimensions of poverty, racism, and communitarianism. In this light, his paintings strive to restore the pride of those he sees as inescapably second-class citizens.
Bayunga Kialeuka currently works on an ensemble of portraits and figurative depictions of protest, domestication, and status in Kinshasa (DRC). This expanded series further compares the hierarchical temperament of Kinois (indigenous Kinshasa residents) at home and abroad to scale concepts of escapism and utopia in the face of pauperisation’s stigmas. Currently living and working in Brussels (Belgium), the artist’s drawings and paintings now start shaping a triangular representation of contemporary pan-Africanism aiming to deconstruct our accepted understanding of wider African history to make place for new perspectives into how Africans and Afro descendants are shaping a truly global society.
Having painted numerous large murals as a way to engage with contemporary history and local society in the USA, Kialeuka also worked as a curator and producer of art exhibitions. His compositions are technically influenced by various painters, photographers, filmmakers, writers, musicians, and philosophers alike. Among them are Palmer Hayden, Moké, Tupac Shakur, Claude Brown, Franco Luambo, Lucian Freud, Romare Bearden and Eric Monte.
Exhibitions & Awards
Solo exhibitions (selection)
The Silent Violence of Souls, Kloser Contemporary Art | Antwerp, BE 2021
WAY STATION by Bayunga Kialeuka, Chapelle Boondael | Brussels, BE 2020
BKS Pop-Up, Urban Collective Gallery – The Moore Building | Miami, FL, USA 2016
Stingy Brim, Old Dillard Museum | Ft Lauderdale, FL, USA, 2014
Before Nights Falls, WDNA Jazz Gallery | Miami, FL, USA, 2011
The Tree, Stash Gallery | Miami, FL, USA, 2010
Bayunga Kialeuka, North Dade Regional Library | Miami, FL, USA, 2006
Urban Knights, The Gallery @ AHCAC | Miami, FL 2001
Group exhibitions (selection)
Arts Congo Eza Parc de Bruxelles| Brussels, BE 2020.
Congolisation, Pianofabriek | Brussels, BE 2019.
Art for Rights – Canvases of Courage, Convention Center | New Orleans, LA, USA, 2016
Jazz in the Gardens, Dolphin Stadium | Miami, FL, USA, 2015
Rostros, Galleria Decap | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 2015
Trespass, Mar Mar Arts Studio | Miami, FL, USA, 2008
A Day in the Life, Mar Mar Arts Studio | Miami, FL, USA, 2006
The Low Down + Dirty Art Show, Objex Art Space | Macon, GA, USA, 2005
Night of a Thousand Arts, Artopia Gallery and Studios | Miami, FL, USA, 2003
Salon Noir, Saint Thomas University Gallery | Miami, FL, USA 2003
Outlaw Art, Gallery 21| Miami, FL, USA, 2002
Oscar Thomas Memorial Exhibition, The Gallery @ AHCAC | Miami, FL, USA, 2000
A Tribute to Jackson Pollock, The Schacknow Museum of Fine Arts | Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA, 2000
ART on PAPER African Heritage Culturl Arts Center | Miami, FL, USA, 2017.
Reconstruction, BKS Curatorial Project, Miami Dade Main Library | Miami, FL, USA, 2016
A Bike Ride with Purvis Young, BKS Curatorial Project, Amadlozi Gallery | Miami, FL, USA, 2016
DragonFly, BKS Curatorial Project, Amadlozi Gallery | Miami, FL, USA, 2015
Beside the District, BKS Curatorial Project and Mar Mar Arts, |Miami, FL, USA, 2010
KIN-Art, BKS Curatorial Project, | Miami, FL, USA 2014
Art Africa, BKS Curatorial Project, Urban Collective, | Miami, FL, USA, 2011
Trespass, BKS Curatorial Project and Mar Mar Arts, | Miami, FL, USA, 2008
Praise House, The Gallery @ AHCAC | Miami, FL, USA 2004
Night of a Thousand Arts, Artopia Gallery and Studios | Miami, FL, USA 2003
The Priviledge of History Law Studies High School | Brooklyn, NY, USA, 2010.
Social Traps Law Studies High School | Brooklyn, NY, USA, 2010.
All Services Entail Tender Loving Care and A Listening Ear Black Veterans for Social Justice | Brooklyn, NY, USA, 2010.
Turning Point MS 219s | Miami, FL, USA, 2009
This Too Shall Pass Rickers Island Correctional Facility | Brooklyn, NY, USA, 2009.
The Perfect Equilibrium of Nature Tillary Park Foundation & The Urban Assembly School of Music | Brooklyn, NY, USA 2009.
Don’t Trash NYC Container Project Mos Carting | New York City, NY, USA, 2008.
South Brooklyn Brooklyn Youth Consortium, Coney Island | Brooklyn, NY, USA, 2008.
Reaching New Heights Trust for Public Land | Brooklyn, NY, USA, 2008.
Incarcerated Minds Rickers Island Correctional Facility | Brooklyn, NY, USA, 2008.
Richard K. Shafer, Neil Hall (The Urban Collective)
The Pas-Chaudoir Collection of Contemporary Art from Africa and the Diaspora
Miami Dade County Public Library Collections
Villa Paula Museum
Mapo Kinnard (Xavier University)
Rafael V. Santana
Erik Tucker Estate (New Orleans)
Arles Carballo (Miami Herald)