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Tingatinga is an art movement, which is mainly typical in african countries, especially in Tanzania. The tingatinga paintings are very colorful, radiating happiness, and show us, how to see the world as a child.
About John Kilaka:
I was born on 4 th November 1966 in Sumbawanga, the southwest of Tanzania. In 1977 I started primary school, I was 10 and I was very interested to be artist. I was spending time doing sketches in sand. Once I started the school, I felt lucky to be there because there I found papers, pencils and colour chalks. Nine years old, I had begun to draw on paper. Later I started to make drawings on black board. But how much then I disturbed my teacher!!!!
When I found some free space on the blackboard which teacher had left after our lesson, I used to draw funny pictures on it, so that other pupils could enjoy. But I am not sure if my teacher appreciated it because he punished me! It was disturbing him, because my funny drawings caused his students to laugh and to make noise in the class, while our head teacher was just in the adjacent room doing important things for school.
So my teacher punished me several times as "class nosy maker". He took even away my position as the class leader because I was supposed to keep students quite during the class, and I didn´t do that. I was the one who caused others to be noisy! Instead he gave me other position in school.
Let us leave that story….and look at the chronicle of my life
1983: I finished Primary school. I spent time in my village helping my parents farming, fishing and hunting.
1987: My brother advised me to move from my village to Dar es Salaam city so that I could be able to improve in art.
1990: I joined and learned Tingatinga art style from Peter Martin at Village museum in Dar es Salaam.
1996: I started to be illustrator of children’s books.
1997: I started to write stories and to illustrate them. Frische Fische (Eng. Fresh Fish) was my first book, which was published in Switzerland
2000: I formed my own style of art now called “Kilaka style.”
2000: I published my first book in Switzerland in German language.
2004: I published my second book “Gute Freunde” in Switzerland in German and in Kinyarwanda language.
From the Artist homepage: www.kilaka.com
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