born in Mauritius. Currently lives and works in Berlin.
Remixing a wide range of languages, both from art history and popular culture, Djun’s work exhibits a vigorous use of textural color and bold, sensual gestures. An “energetic combination of artists like Matisse, Jean Michel Basquiat and De Kooning ”, his aesthetic plays between the figurative, the symbolic and the abstract. This energy is psychically rooted in his natal “paradise island” of Mauritius where an intense diversity of cultures broil. Within his practice of painting, text and photography, one witnesses the story of an islander who went on to inhabit various intricate layers of cultures around the globe. A sense of where one is from informs his work which is beautifully haunted by what he calls the “cacophony of identity”. Djun has been making art with young children in Berlin and Nairobi in the past decade, and represented Mauritius at the 56th Venice Biennale.
The medium of painting contains a universal language existing beyond culture and yet, at the very same time, intrinsically reconnects with the artist's identity. My paintings are multi-layered: 1. through the accumulation of superimposed paint layers of different chroma or consistencies which play interactively and react with previous layers, 2. a strategy of literal collage which includes introducing diverse materials ranging from photographs or paper-based objects which are linked to the narrative and 3. visual-lingusitic-collage can also take the form of the use of different signifiers including gestures, techniques,mark-making and symbols which actively reference a range of pictorial languages and play with the conceptual formalism of the discipline of painting.These various technical processes parallel the complexity of a sense of place and identity, and the search for a unique voice through plural narratives.
Thematically, my body of work resembles that of a storyteller, a Dj, or a band in which I am playing various instruments. Each song, each work, each dance tells it's own story. In my oeuvre spanning the last fifteen years, I have recounted thematics ranging from art history, politics, the public vs the private, contemporary visual culture in relation to historical painting.
I am very much interested in the representation of memory, and in questioning its possibility, in relation to the numerous cultures, landscapes, bodies and experiences I have grown up in and with.
BERLINER ZEITUNG 05.04.18
MAURITIUS IN MITTE by Ingeborg Ruthe
Translated from German by Julia Milz
Djuneid Dulloo has, without a doubt brought some sun soaked colors from the Indian ocean all the way to cloudy Berlin. Mauritius sounds like the piercing blue sky reflected in the sea, giving its name to a popular stamp from the colonial era. But he also paints in shrill reds, greens, a yellow reminiscent of the sun, and pink. Born 1983 in Pamplemousses, and now teacher at the Cosmopolitan School in Berlin Mitte, Dulloo blends his fantastic colors with a subtle collage technique. He layers his paint, so that the actual motif seems to disappear. Traditional symbolism signs and patterns of an ancient and to us exotic culture blend with the everyday life of the Western society determined by consumerism. Those worlds seem to penetrate each other as they compete without leaving out the irritation and pain that come with such battle. Dulloo’s images shine, they are vivid, and raw. Lines curb, forms break and oppress one another. One recognizes the inspired observer, the hungry cosmopolitan from the far away island who soaked up western art like a sponge without having dismissed his cultural inheritance. Many of his paintings remind one of the afro American Jean Michel Basquiat, who left us too early. Dulloo’s work plays with lines, signs, language and rhythm. He also likes repetition of forms, sampling, and scratching.
Curator Corinna Charis Schwarz offers the expat from Mauritius a spot in her art and design salon in Berlin Mitte, close to neighboring galleries and art institutions, which also functions as a casual podium for exchanges about art, readings, films and concerts.
Djuneid, Don't Be Rude Now.
The works of Djuneid Dulloo, as seen at the Venice Biennale, in the Mauritius Pavilion and the Berlin Art Week have been bruising walls with their visceral jolt. Each work is fully formed (The Palace of Memories), the canvas is stretched to its limit, the frame is struggling to hold it all, the colors are at the very edge of their breaking point (The Flash) and if there are any figures, they are hanging on by a thread, a fraction from obscurity (Vice).
His works are characterized by the foetal quest to exist whether there is any room for them or not. He dabbles in mixed form art, drawing current, colonial and classical influences, darting from the obscene (Last Supper) to the downright sublime (Killing the Moment). His use of color sears your heart. His is a world where the abyss, forever black, unfortunately so, squares off with a biting, close-to-destruction white background and nothing but optimism permeates (Untitled [Gaza]). Perhaps the most poignant quality of these works currently doing their rounds is the glaring omission of conformity within the art form.
These are singular works by a man battling with past, present and future demons, Western in guise, African in form (Kafka's Dream). Whether he personally triumphs with each work or not is not the issue. What's important is what we, pariahs, judges and two-bit zealots stand to gain from it. We, after all, demand, deserve the very best his artistry has to offer. As long as he continues taking these bold swings, he can descend into madness, solitude or eccentricity and we would just be fine with it.
After all, his art is the only thing we are interested in. And by God, we'll get our fix one way or the other, Goddamnit. God be damned if we don't. Work away, Dulloo, thin away young man, we are waiting on you. Don't be rude now. It's not right to keep your public waiting.
Mhla Ncube Playwright, 2015.
- Revenant (ongoing till April 21)
- The Third Dot Contemporary Mauritian Photography, Roche Bobois, Mauritius
- Berlin Art Week
Ex-Galerie Christian Ehrentraut
- Mauritius Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, International Contemporary Art exhibition, Venice, Italy.05.05. - 22.11.2015.
- X, Lipopette, Warthestrasse 9, Berlin
- 12x12, The Cellar Gallery, Berlin
- All the Pretty Girls, The Cellar Gallery, Berlin
- Selected Works, Lipopette, Berlin
- Daddy you can't (..) , Grimmuseum, Berlin
- Die Neue Form, ID Studios, Berlin
- Das Baumhaus, Fluxbau, Berlin
- Kaum III, Raum 18, Berlin
- This Info is not available in your country, Kaleidoskop, Berlin
- Peer to peer, Tête, Berlin
- Dulloo+Grimaldi, Zugabe!, Berlin
- Drawing Connections, Siena Art Institute, Siena
- New works from the Carpenter Center, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA
- Opening And Closing Now, Beacon Estate Gallery, Somerville, USA
- De L’Amour et de la Mort, IBL Gallery, Mauritius
- The Awakening, Galeria Espelde Mardaras, Bilbao
- New Paintings, Bioversity International, Rome
- Before the rain, Galeria Esther Monturiol, Barcelona
- Annual Show, Grossman Gallery, Boston
- Favela Chic, Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts, Paris
- School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
- Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts
- Massachusetts College of Art and Design
- Harvard University, Arts in Education