By Aweye Teddy Onam
Ashraf Abdurrahman Kuku, a South Sudanese artist has become the latest national to paint a good image of the country after his art work transverses the world.
He won a competition organized by the community outreach Unit of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan in partnership with University of Juba organized an art competition themed “peace begins with me”.
There were 16 art students who submitted their art works for the competition but Ashraf Abdurrahman Kuku, a third year student at the University of Juba School of Art and Drama won the competition.
The objective of the competition was to give the upcoming artists a platform to showcase their creative talents.
“The competition took place on the 26th of April and the materials were given twenty days before the competition date” said Ashraf the winner.
Ashraf said he feels proud of himself for winning and using his architect ability in explaining the painting with positive energy while speaking to No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper on phone.
“I felt good because it is my first time to participate in such competitions though I use to paint my art work and I use to sell but it feels good if you have become a winner among twenty paintings” he expressed.
Capturing the hearts of the distinguished jury, Ashraf’s painting depicts a free mind from which doves are taking off, possibly instructed to come back with packages of peace strapped to their legs.
“Peace is totally serenity within a person. If you don’t have it within you, you cannot access or achieve anywhere. Peace must always be born within you,” added the pride winner.
As the journeys of many as an aspiring artist, Ashraf has been one of the people misunderstood and discouraged by friends and families considering art as a frivolous rather than a productive pursuit however in his belief he has chosen mode of communication which can be used to make a positive impact.
After Ashraf, the runner up was Suleiman Morgan also a third year student and the painting was named the Dawn while journey to peace was created by a fourth year student John Yanga Emiliano Ladu and became third runner up, Victoria Kiden painted the circle of peace but missed out on the top three.
Justin Billy, Dean of the University’s School of Art, Music and Drama, said he is proud of what each of his students produced for the exhibit.
“This was a great opportunity for them to promote their own narrative. They have managed to travel inwards to their souls and come back from that adventurous journey with paintings that touch every one of us”, he said,