June 16, 2010

Tinga Tinga, everywhere!

Tanzania is home to Tinga Tinga art.  Inspired by nature, this art form is fun, colorful, and playful.
 Artist: A. Hasani
 Artist: Ally
Artist: Amadi
Artist: Ibra
Artist: L. Nangida
Artist: M. Chiwaya
Artist: Mbwana Sudi
Artist: Shabani
Artist: Sufiani
Personally, I think that some of these paintings would look adorable in a child's bedroom.

This school of art was started by a single man in 1968, named Edward Saidi Tingatinga (1936 - 1972). Unfortunately, he met a rather young and untimely death as a result of being hit by a police bullet. Amidst growing popularity with ex-pats living here and tourists on safari, the family of Tingatinga decided to start the Tinga Tinga Arts Co-operative Society in 1990. Today, the Co-operative boasts over 100 active artists and can proudly proclaim itself as one of the largest illustration, design, and arts studios in the world. But the actual number of Tinga Tinga painters is estimated to be on the order of up to 1000, located mostly in Tanzania, but also found throughout other parts of the world. 

Tinga Tinga's roots and origins are likely linked to the African tradition of decorating hut walls. Below is a hut wall painting from 1906:
Today, the paintings usually depict a wide variety of stylized African animals in bold color palettes. The painting techniques consist of mostly enamel colors on canvas or ceiling board, although the signature Tinga Tinga style is sold on a wide variety of products, including T-shirts, pencils, plates, cups, and beyond.

Our favorite bar in Mikadi Beach is decked out in Tinga Tinga paintings.
Tire covers on SUVs are a great way to demonstrate your passion for this art form. Below are some pictures of our most recent acquisition:
But my favorite example to date is the Tinga Tinga motorcycle. It took approximately 10-15 painters five days to paint the motorcycle, starting on 12th December 2008.
 And here are the results:




Photo Credits (Process of Painting Motorcycle):


Painting Images:


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