Ian Tukundane is the young artist behind Tian-B Art Studio in Nkumba, the university suburb just outside of Entebbe town, who is not shy to show his love for President Yoweri Museveni, writes Sarah Ngororano.
Occupying prime space in Tian-B Art Studio is a large portrait of Museveni titled `My President’.
The painting is an acrylic on canvas piece that plays with the national colours in light and shadow using a style called chiaroscuro which was made famous by Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio of the late renaissance period. Often called simply Caravaggio, he is different from the famous sculptor Michelangelo di Lodovico. Never mind that Tukundane insists that the later, together with Leonardo da Vinci, also inspire his art.
In the Museveni piece, Tukundane places a black and white portrait of the President in a halo of white against a background of black, yellow, and red. He also sprinkles bits of each hue against the other so that, instead of clear lines of the flag, one sees waves of colour violently running into each other. Tumukunde says these show the political, economic, and social instabilities that occurred in Uganda until Museveni “brought peace”.
He says Museveni’s placement in front signifies the leadership position he occupies in front of the troubled flag.
Tukundane who says he has been actively practicing art and painting since he was 16 years old has many pieces but the Museveni portrait is his clear favourite. He, however, also does sculptures.
He started Tian-B Art Studio in 2014 and works with four other artists. He has a branch of Tian-B Studio in his Kabale home district. It is from here, he says, that he got inspired by his father and brother who are also artists. He holds a bachelor’s degree in commercial art and design from nearby Nkumba University.
Tukundane has participated in the Sadolin Mabati competition in Kampala and exhibited in the Great Lakes Museum in Kabale. He is looking at a solo exhibition next year.