From Germany, Eni’s ‘new light painting’ illuminates the future

Open Eyes, one of the new light paintings of Emmanuel Eni


From generation to generation and from one culture to another, even across regions of the world, artistic expressions have never stopped evolving. The Germany-based Nigerian artist, Emmanuel Eni, adds to this evolutionary schema, a new visual lexicon called ‘New Light Painting.’ This technique involves creating images that illuminate the canvas. Eni’s painting technique draws its strength from ability to bring together scientific curiosity with artistic virility to generate what the artist described as ‘painting illumination.’

According to him, painting illuminates “the night, and brings sight to the dark.” Incubated in Germany, Eni’s new light painting was shown as Aworan Imole at Mydrim Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos, in 2015. During the preview, the artist explained that the “colour is the source of drawing and form,” for the new light painting technique.

A few months ago, Eni, who is also known as ‘Blackman in European Kitchen’, continued his ‘gospel’ of fresh painting technique in Germany with a show, titled, The Boom. Apart from the new light paintings, the show also featured some sculptures. The exhibited works, according to the artist, were among the most important pieces “created in Germany these past 25 years.”

The sculptures, made in bronze, fiberglass and terracotta, included what has been described as “parts of the most unequivocal, celebrated new works such as, ‘new light paintings’ developed, sought after worldwide, patented and shown by the artist.”Curatorial text contents from the show indicated that The Boom exposed the value of art beyond aesthetics appreciation. It explained “transparency and stimulation of growth through collective collaboration of artists.”

Listed as beneficiaries are areas such as business, politics, for “exhibition organisers, curator and audience to providing insights into the present and future trends.”Arguing that his art has a global perspective, Eni said: “The Boom is also the search of the world for Africa in Brexit times, new Europe, Asia and American political and cultural standpoints, where the search for raw materials, human strength and intelligence is on a fresh match.”

His hope is that The Boom will bring in a fair relationship among the people across cultures through all five continents, with focus on new emerging powers in Africa. He said that the show was an opportunity to see the cooperation on an equal footing, based on what is offered by everybody and its management. He is also hopeful that people will be able to buy or acquire his art to stimulate equal world growth. On the future of his light painting technique, Eni argued, “till a new material is able to stand the test of time, priceless art works only live once instead of a thousand times.”

To avoid being confused with some existing techniques in process of art making, Eni warned: “New light painting art is not stained glass or lithography.”Brimming with pride, Eni said he is the person that “discovered and patented” the new light painting, he said: “The Universal Sole patent awarded Emmanuel Eni for this art technique encompasses all works rendered and described as ‘light painting and drawing technic’.”

Still on clarification as regards his new light painting technique, Eni said: “Make a perfect picture that allow the ultimate freedom to play in the discovery of hidden aspects of pictorial composition and its reflection of the outermost, innermost feeling.“ And comes the scientific curiosity of the new light painting, specifically, on what the images radiate when they are in the dark. They show “the kindest, visually most favourable images, behind vivid pictures and strong themes.”

The artist said that as art arise from the neutrality of their surface colour, his technique “reveals vibrant life behind neutral pictorial reference frames.” On how his new art relates with colour application, Eni said, he reduces “aggressiveness of primary and secondary colours within the evocative genre of every particular work, thus showing the soul of the colour and painting itself, as the inner light surpasses the light outside of it.”

Also, in the area of materials’ durability and research on new medium, Eni seemed to have made some fresh inputs. “In combined use of colour, pigment, and canvas, types of materials develop multiple memory during aging, making paintings wear down rapidly over prolonged time,” he said.In practical terms, he explained how his canvas has been customised for the new light paining: “The special canvas, colour pigment used in making is combined to seal the memory of materials and enhance the life of the painting’s matter. It enables a painting produced in new light technique method to be folded and rolled without damage to the material. Light Painting – Art expands and contracts to climate and light.”

Excerpts from Eni’s thoughts: “It’s like when a healer diagnoses through vision of sight in the inner and outer self. The new light paintings evokes very happy and surprising feelings. It reserves for the viewer the satisfaction of full-bred life behind delicacy of colours and light, in the transparency of pictures. They welcome the audience with a gentle and bright fascination.”

From The Boom’s exhibition catalogue comes a review by Dr Claus Deimel, Director Saxony Ethnological Museum AD. Other works of the exhibition include, Israel and Palestine Installation / Performance, celebrated poem by the artist who has featured in over 70 performances across the world, Africanize, Death of the curator, Art Merchant, Junking of the Elephant, Brightness of the picture and Elephant.His other name as, Blackman in European Kitchen, is linked to a dance musical poetry of the same title. The artist’s biography indicates that he had the piece in about 70 performances in Africa, Europe, US and the Scandinavia. The theme: An African finds himself in a European kitchen. The character is hungry; he cooks as his hostess, a woman named Sabina, celebrates her birthday. He perceives the kitchen as a great, shiny, piano. This brings new ways to overcome his challenge. The confrontation with the new kitchen, unlike his old world, explores the differences and similarities of varied cultures.

The artist reeled out some of what he considered his achievements as Basic Metric scale for Art Products BMSAP (in death of the curator- drama), and ‘African Legends performance’, “created to expand and propagate great African legends and African philosophy.”Publications of the artist include, drama, titled, Death of the curator, and poems collections such as Masquerade Undressing, Kind on Kind, Fall and Stand, Universes of Water, among others.

Present at the exhibition’s opening, according to Eni, were the Bavarian Prime Minister, Markus Söder; Dr. Matthias Röbler, President of the Saxon Parliament; Mrs. Ilse Aigner, President of the Bavarian State Parliament; Mr. Thomas Hagel MDB, Karl-Willi Beck 1, Mayor Wunsiedel and District Administrator, and Dr. Ing. Karl Döhler Wunsiedel as well as art patrons, officials, local and international media.

In this article:
Emmanuel Eniilluminates
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