Kibrom Seyoum was born in the Tigray region of Ethiopia in 1992. He is an interdisciplinary visual artist who lives and works in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Seyoum graduated from the Tigray Art College in 2017, and received his BA from Alle School of Fine Arts at the University of Addis Ababa in 2022.
Kibrom’s creative work consists of printmaking, acrylic painting, and oil painting. He also frequently experiments with multimedia materials such as video art, photography and found objects. His work focuses on themes of identity and relationship to the world around him, exploring questions of displacement, migration, war, and complex human-environment relationships.
Seyoum’s work has been exhibited across Ethiopia; he has participated in several workshops and competitions including winning first place at the Tigray Cultural Festival Art Competition. Since 2020 he has been an active member of Ethiopian Art Association.
Since 2017, my artistic focus has been on figurative and abstract sculpture. In 2019 however, I started producing a range of creative works, with mediums like printmaking, oil and acrylic paintings, and more sketches. In order to create narratives and visually communicate my ideas, I also frequently experiment with mixed-media like digital art, photography, and found objects. As for the last one, I specifically use blankets as my main medium to construct a narrative or express my ideas visually.
The blanket’s varied and vibrant colours, combined with the rhythmic rectangular patterns, inspired me to design contemporary clothing for the first time. In addition to my experimental figurative and non- figurative painting and drawing, using the literal shapes, colours, and textures of the blanket as a visual language to compare and juxtapose images of reality and imagination with themes of politics, economics, and, by extension, many other complex social themes.
Since the 1960s, the blanket has been popular in many Ethiopian societies, particularly among the lower class. It has memory and emotion. I experienced this blanket when I was a teenager. In different parts of the world, too, blankets have a meaning associated with myths related to culture, birth, life, and death; it also has a symbolic meaning of love, care, and protection. For example, Native Americans believe blankets represent purity, existence, and beings that transcend time and space.
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