Artist: Markus Hofko
Synopsis: “Images were shot during a Pygmy ritual called ‘Wale,’ which occurs when a woman gives birth to her first child. This is a maternal rite of passage in which first-time mothers must follow strict rules of seclusion to protect their newborns and elevate the status of their families. We chose to focus on Pygmies as they are the underdogs of Congolese society, pillaged by lumber companies and despised by many in the country. The condition of the Pygmies embodies the whole of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s ordeal—daily struggle and a life with corporate greed—reflected in KOKOKO!’s song title ‘Tokoliana,’ which means “We are eating each other” in Lingala.
Bio: German born multitalent Markus Hofko has been creatively active for most of his life. After his studies of Communication Design in Augsburg, Germany he worked at several design studios as a graphic designer and art director. Seeking for independence and a change of scenery he moved to Auckland, New Zealand in 2007. From here he has been working independently as a designer and director for local and international clients in the fields of art, culture, music and advertising. His diverse activities range from video productions, photography and graphic design to stage productions and music. Markus’ focus lies in conceptual image making and experimental narrative.
He created several illustrations for Wired magazine (US), The Atlantic (US), Becks, Adidas and more and directed visually outstanding music videos for musicians such as Flying Lotus, Kid Moxie, Gojira, Opeth, Safia and Débruit (for whom he also developed an interactive live projection show.)
Screened At: VAEFF 2017 as part of On The Margins program