South Sudan artist promotes women’s art.
Abul Oyay Deng Ajak is a painter and curator who has been interested in art since he was a child.
She is devoted to showcasing not just her work, but also the work of other future artists, particularly women artists from around the area, in the world’s youngest country.
“What’s fascinating about art is that it’s a process.” So it’s not like I awoke one day and decided to become an artist. My father pushed me to pursue something broader, such as business, so I majored in International Business, but he is also the same person who has always supported me to paint.
He’s like, ‘This is a skill, but you also have a course,’ so I believe he was the guy that pushed me a lot. “Every time he traveled, he returned with brushes and paint and stuff like that, which I love,” said Abul Oyay Deng, a painter, curator, and gallery owner.
Abul was born in Ethiopia in 1986, but as war broke out, she was separated from her mother and sent to Malakal, South Sudan, with her paternal grandmother, who had a significant effect on her.
As a result, women are a recurring motif in her collection of work.
“I was raised by women, especially as a child, and we all know the tale of South Sudan.” The guys were all on the battlefield. So, you know, my father was never around us at the time. It’s a subconscious reaction. “I was reared by extremely powerful ladies,” she explains.
Abul went to study in London, and the abundance of creative tools increased her desire to further her gift.
Her debut exhibition was held in Juba after South Sudan’s independence in 2011.
Abul has evolved into a serious and economically successful artist during the last seven years.
Curating other female artists is something she is passionate about, even though the numbers are still low.
“Humans are creative creatures. Women are quite inventive, but I believe there were relatively few of them when I arrived. So far, I believe I have five female artists that I curate here. In Sudan, art was largely seen as a masculine pursuit. “Spaces like these enable women to develop their creativity,” Abul finishes.
The artist is also the Director of Museums, Culture, and National Heritage in the Vice President’s Office.