Inspired: S. G. Mpata and the meeting of art and architecture


What do a Tanzanian artist and Japanese architecture have in common? The answer can be found in Kenya's Masai Mara game reserve, at the Mpata Safari Club.

The work of Tanzanian artist Simon George Mpata (1942- 1984) is celebrated worldwide and especially made an impact in Japan. In fact, in doing my research for this post, the majority of websites I found that mentioned him were Japanese! A Japanese magazine editor, who came across Mpata's work while in Kenya, was a key force in arranging for his work to be shown outside the continent and then later in 1992, establishing the Mpata Safari Club. Designed by Edward Suzuki, the five star lodge is an homage to the artist, keeping his spirit alive.


Mpata's style of painting is often referred to as Tinga Tinga, named after his half-brother Edward Tingatinga, who first began to paint in the style. I've come across a book about his work, Urban Primitivism, but again, all information seems to be in Japanese! Anyone with any idea of how to access an English version, or any further information about it that's in English – please do share.


Images at top found on Mpata lodge images from the (top) and Mpata Safari Club website. Bottom left image found here