Artist: Sebastian Schutyser Title: Soumanbozo, Adobe Mosques of Mali Year: 1998-2002 Edition: 5 Medium: Gelatin silver print Size: 94 x 120 cm Misc: Signed, titled, numbered
Sebastian Schutyser is a Belgian artist. His work consists of photographic projects which combine a very thorough documentary approach and a distinct vision on his carefully chosen subjects. His upgrowing in Africa inspired him to develop a visual language that eludes the predominantly stereotypic image we have of this continent. The link between our natural environment and the spiritual stamp of humankind is an important element in his work. This clearly shows in his Adobe Mosques of Mali, for which he received international acclaim. His new book Flowers of the Moon, unveils another hidden treasure of Africa in a very unusual way. At the moment, he is working on a long-term project in northern Spain.
Sebastian Schutyser was born in Bruges in 1968. He spent his childhood in Zaïre (present-day Congo). After taking a degree in political science at the University of Ghent, in Belgium, he decided to study photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the same town. In 1996-1997 he cycled across Mali and made a series of large format portraits. Since 1998 Schutyser has dedicated himself to making a photographic survey of the adobe mosques of the Inner Niger Delta in Mali. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture supported the completion of this work in 2001-2002. It was subsequently published by 5 Continents Editions. His photographs were exhibited in Brussels at the Royal Africa Museum, in the Netherlands at the Noorderlicht Photography Festival, in Paris at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, in Frankfurt at the Deutsches Architektur Museum, in Mali at the Rencontres de la Photographie Africaine de Bamako and at the Great Mosque of Djenné, again in Brussels at BOZAR and recently in Korea at the Clayarch Gimhae Museum, where the exhibition was combined with the construction of a real 1/1 scale adobe mosque in the museum by the Malian master-builder Boubakar Kouroumanse.
In 2004, he was awarded the 25.000 € Golden Clover Award of the Belgian Vocation Foundation for his work in Africa. This allowed him to undertake several photographic expeditions to the Rwenzori Mountains in 2004 and 2005. The resulting edition, Flowers of the Moon, was published in fall 2007. This work is exhibited for the first time in the Photography Museum of Antwerp from 9th november 2007 till 6th January 2008.