National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art: A New Attraction to Explore

Wednesday 21 January 2009 was a noteworthy day for art lovers living in Algeria. It was on that day that the new National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMA) was inaugurated. The museum opened its doors with an exhibition by Peruvian artist Sergio Silva Cajahuaringa entitled “L’Homme, Art and Ecology”.

The masterful collection of art on display at MAMA was organized by the Peruvian Embassy in Algiers and is to continue until the end of March. It was largely made possible through the patronage of Khalida Toumi, the Minister of Culture in Algeria. Algerian art lovers will certainly find that this display is worthy of deep thought. The energy, symphony of colors, swirling lines, geometric shapes and precision found in the artist’s artworks are truly stupendous. They truly seem to leap off the canvas. It is as if the artist has managed to use his brushes to convey the abstract notions behind his works – ones of love’s uniting nature, and communication with distant ancestors. Commenting on the collection, artist Sergio Silva Cajahuaringa said: “In our materialistic world, it is important that the artist paint with his heart and should, without worrying about the possible impact of fame or money.” He added that he grew up in a village that was closely affected by the seasons and which had a special relationship with nature. It seems this is largely what inspires his artistic choices and interpretations. It appears that his works should be viewed in the light of anthropology and the cosmos. It also tries to explore the four elements of air, light, water and fire in relation to the fifth element – human beings. Cajahuaringa further said about the abstract element of his artwork: “The interest in the creation, meaning surreal and/or abstract, is the temptation and the urge to build something from scratch, but that this act should be explained to a divine presence.”

It seems Cajahuaringa is looking forward to displaying his work at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art as his trip to Algeria opens his mind to other cultures. He noted that he felt that such exposure helps him to feed his mind and soul and this further translates into his future artworks. If you want to see this fascinating display, make sure you get to MAMA before it is too late.