Paul Onditi, 'Back to Back IV', 2015, Mixed media on digital polyester inkjet plate, 112 x 112 cm, Courtesy of ARTLabAfrica
Paul Onditi, 'Back to Back IV', 2015, Mixed media on digital polyester inkjet plate, 112 x 112 cm, Courtesy of ARTLabAfrica 

Onditi moved to Germany in 2000, where he studied at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Offenbach am Main. In 2010 he returned to Nairobi, where he rapidly gained recognition for his work, the Tower of Babel, an installation based on the age-old homonymous biblical myth. Begun in 2009 and conceived as a continuous interactive installation that spanned three years and travelled to several countries, the Tower of Babel aimed to explore similarities and differences in our global human existence, and unpick the cyclical nature of life.

Digital polyester inkjet plates have become Onditi’s medium of choice, a canvas that allows the artist to layer ever more complex images onto each other without losing the transparent, dream-like quality of much of his work. Mystical, translucent and surreal, Onditi’s current works pull together filmstrips, prints, transferred images, pared down layers of pigment, caustic acid, and thick layers of oil paint. The effect visualises an imaginative world that provides incisive reflections on contemporary life.