Mimi Cherono Ng’ok (Kenya)

Musée National du Mali

Do You Miss Me ? Sometimes, Not Always (2015)

Mimi Cherono Ng’ok began a journey in October 2014 when news broke of South African photographer Thabiso Sekgala’s passing. Over the next six months, she made a collection of images in the cities of Kigali, Abidjan, Kampala and Nairobi. The resulting series, Do You Miss Me ? Sometimes, Not Always, distills the prodding sensation and emotional rupture that often follow the loss of a close friend. To this effect, the artist notes that the series was “recorded to remember and to understand.”

Reflecting her collaboration with Sekgala in the exhibition “Peregrinate : Field Notes on Time Travel” (2014), this series involves narrations of place and absence. In its metafiction, notes and letters are exchanged between two characters. One asks, “Do you miss me ?” The other answers, “Sometimes, not always.” If Sekgala is present, he exists from beyond the photograph. Beyond both space and time.
Looking over a maize field in Kigali, Rwanda, the photographer takes in the tumult, the fear, and the darkness of a looming storm. The sky is ready to pour as cobless maize crops cascade down to the bottom third of the composition. Two mango trees, standing in the middle third, resist gravity, defying the inevitable fall into oblivion.

Cherono Ng’ok is searching beyond the present malaise brought on by emptiness. She captures a continuous narrative with several key moments. As one looks at the subjects of the photographs, one realizes that they reveal something beyond them. This “beyond” is the basis of the artist’s exploration of a metafictional correspondence in which letters are conceived as images. By presenting the images interlaced with each other and pinned to the wall, the artist thus displays notes, observations, and fragments in a laboratory reaching for the beyond.

Born in 1983 in Nairobi, Kenya –
Lives in Nairobi

Institut Français
Ministère de la Culture de l’Artisanat et du Tourisme du Mali