Gonçalo Mabunda was born on January 1, 1975 in Maputo, Mozambique. He is an artist and anti-war activist. Mabunda has exhibited important museums such as the Center Pompidou in Paris, the Venice Biennale, the Museum of Art and Design in New York, Gangwon International Biennale, South Korea, the Museum Kunst Palast in Düsseldorf, the Hayward Gallery in London, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, the Johannesburg Art Gallery, the Tropen Museum, Amsterdam, Norway Army Museum, Netherlands Army Museum, Sweden Army Museum and many more.
Mabunda started his work in the context of a project implemented since 1995, by the Christian Council of Mozambique (CCM) that has been scouring the country and collecting weapons from individuals and communities after a civil war that lasted almost twenty years. In this project some weapons are destroyed while others are deactivated and given to men and women like Mabunda, to sculpt into art. Some 800,000 weapons have been collected since the CCM launched this project, called Transforming Guns into Hopes.
Mabunda converts dismantled war materials that were in use during the long and bloody civil wars 16-year that affected his country (Mozambique). The artist appropriates of all kind of war waste -bullets, bombs, files- and then assembles them with the final shape of masks and thrones.
Mabunda’s masks have a strong evocative power and maintain the symbolic and ritual values of the ancient African tribal masks that are part of the artist’s culture and tradition, while converted in a contemporary way.
Gonçalo Mabunda (1975, Maputo District, Mozambico. He lives and works a Maputo). Although he spent his childhood in a country devastated by the civil war (1975-1991) Mabundahe attended schools in the capital of Mozambique (Maputo). His works were exposed in prestigious International Galleries and Museums including: Center Georges Pompidou, Paris (2005); Mori Museum, Tokyo (2006); Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2016); Palazzo Reale, Milan (2016); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2018). His first presence at the Venice Biennale dates to 2015 while in 2019 he was selected to represent Mozambique in the national pavilion.