Islands of the Indian Ocean: The Pearls of the Indian Ocean

Contemporary Artists from Comoros, Seychelles, Reunion, Mauritios

Islands of the Indian Ocean: The Pearls of the Indian Ocean (2014) by Contemporary Artists from COMOROS, SEYCHELLES, REUNION, MAURITIUSImago Mundi









From the Ocean to the Sea 



“In that perfumed country caressed by the sun, I have known, under a canopy of purple trees, and palms raining idleness upon the eyes, a creole lady of private beauty.” These verses written by the young Charles Baudelaire during a stay in Mauritius in 1841 for madame Emmeline de Carcenac (with whom he fell hopelessly in love), perfectly express the chromatic and dazzling beauty of the island as well as that of its women. And, symbolically, they intone the intimate energy of the creole spirit and mestizo nations, which, for many, are the future of human civilization. 

Walk to the market, Abdalam Shadhi, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
Show lessRead more

Walk to the market (2014)
by Abdalam Shadhi


This island in the Indian Ocean, discovered by the Dutch in the seventeenth century (named after Maurice, Prince of Nassau), is a melting pot of races – French, Dutch, British, Indian, Chinese, African, Creole – who joyfully coexist and practice the art of hospitality.

Dead head, Andy Eugene Mtawarina, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
Show lessRead more

Dead head (2014)
by Andy Eugene Mtawarina


The concept of “coolitude”, moreover, was coined by a Mauritian writer, Khal Torabully, born in Port Louis, to poetically define the concepts of coexistence and dialogue between different cultures and histories, inspired by the non-violence of Gandhi.

Sega dance, David Herardor, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
Show lessRead more

Sega dance (2014)
by David Herardor


A mestizo, multicultural identity, open to the world, that the Imago Mundi project, mapping the pluralist and heterogeneous art of our time, came to seek in the islands of the Indian Ocean – Mauritius, Réunion, Seychelles, Comoros – languid inspiration of writers and artists, and striking destination for tourists from all over the world in search of beautiful landscapes and intense light to illuminate their lives

Full moon, Eli Karibu, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
Show lessRead more

Full moon (2014)
by Eli Karibu


Artistic experience pervades these islands of white beaches, rare varieties of trees, spices, sugar and coffee, rum and pirates, like a common thread that unfolds in time and space, linking and aggregating fragments, ideas and experiences.

Flamboyant, Elisabeth Fatima, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
Show lessRead more

Flamboyant (2014)
by Elisabeth Fatima


The most famous painter of Mauritius, for example, Malcolm de Chazal (1902-1981), a sugar plantation engineer with the soul of an artist, was also a poet, philosopher, journalist and writer, nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Beach, Hubert Kitson, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
Show lessRead more

Beach (2014)
by Hubert Kitson


And it is a singular, but not random, conjunction that the French writer Jean- Marie Gustave Le Clézio, descendant of a Breton family who emigrated to the island in the eighteenth century, dedicated his Nobel Prize of 2008 to, among others, the “très grand Mauricien Malcolm de Chazal”.

Port Louis, Jose Sam Him, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
Show lessRead more

Port Louis (2014) by Jose Sam Him

On the neighbouring island of La Réunion – a French overseas department that forms the Mascarene archipelago with Mauritius and Rodrigues – Ambroise Vollard was born (another singular conjunction), an art dealer, publisher and writer who hosted in his Parisian gallery the works of many avant-garde painters discovered with his exceptional intuition. Among others, he mounted the first major exhibition of Cézanne in 1895, the first exhibition of Picasso in 1901, and of Matisse in 1904.

Sunset, Leon Gilles, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
Show lessRead more

Sunset (2014) by Leon Gilles

Today in La Réunion, artistic spirit is also expressed through street art, especially in Saint Pierre, where the walls of the city are being brought colourfully to life. An expression of the vitality of the island, the graffiti created by young artists using different techniques is becoming a form of cultural promotion for the city (with a programme of guided tours and a specific website) no less important than the fortifications of Vauban, the famous military architect of the Sun King.

Portrait of Mwali woman, Mohamed Allaoni, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
Show lessRead more

Portrait of Mwali woman (2014)
by Mohamed Allaoni


In the Seychelles, one hundred and fifteen islands (about twenty around the main island Mahé) with a perfectly preserved natural environment and a hotel sector increasingly focussed on tasteful, small hotels (dubbed “boutiquefication” by the New York Times), the oceanic intertwining of the arts and different inspirations
also links with nature (ultimate master of beauty and life) through the work of Joseph Beuys.

Morning, Odon Lys, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
Show lessRead more

Morning (2014)
by Odon Lys


Here, on 24th December 1980, the celebrated German artist, after talking with the natives of the island, decided to plant two palm trees of different species. One palm tree grew quickly; the other took some years and germinated a few days after the death of Beuys, bearing witness to the mysterious connection between art and life, whose timing and values are dictated by nature itself.

Fisherman, Patrick Costance, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
Show lessRead more

Fisherman (2014) by Patrick Costance

From the Comoro Islands, whose name derives from the Arabic “islands of the Moon”, this web of fascinating artistic connections reaches Venice, where, at the 53rd Biennale (in 2009), the smallest state of the Indian Ocean debuted with a surprising pavilion. A traditional Comorian boat, the “Djahazi” (restored by the Italian artist Paolo W. Tamburella) that prior to modernization carried containers in the port of Moroni, was moored in the lagoon in front of the Giardini as a metaphor of what we consider expendable in a world of uncertainty and globalization.

Whale, Rebecca Germain, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
Show lessRead more

Whale (2014)
by Rebecca Germain

This voyage from the islands of the Indian Ocean to our geographical and intellectual latitudes – that encompasses past and present, ideas, connections, different arts and performances – marks a new leg of the journey with the 150 10x12cm contemporary works that Imago Mundi has collected in this catalogue.

Chameleon, Roger Auduit, 2015, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
Show lessRead more

Chameleon (2015)
by Roger Auduit

These artworks contain nature, the conventional landscapes popular with tourists, but also a reflection on the fate of nature. There are men at work and the work of men. The figurative and the abstract. Architecture of spaces and souls. The meeting and merging of different elements, of artistic waves that, like those of the ocean, can transport, overwhelm, save or lose.

Flamboyant, Samir Djiva Kamal, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
Show lessRead more

Flamboyant (2014)
by Samir Djiva Kamal

The words Baudelaire wrote of the sea are also true of man’s artistic creation: “It’s a mirror, where you see your soul, in its eternal waves that chafe and roll”.

Luciano Benetton

Arcade, Youssouf Abou Bakar, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi
Show lessRead more

Arcade (2014)
by Youssouf Abou Bakar

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Google apps