Michael Soi is a Nairobi based artist whose pieces provide a personal reflection and satirical commentary on contemporary social, economic and political trends in Kenya.
Michael graduated from art school in 1996. He works as a full time artist in Nairobi. He says his work is as simple as can be. “I try to create an attitude of what you see might be what you get from it. “I am involved in work that deletes, distorts and changes various images into what I want them to be, and am excited by the subtle play that erasure seems to create when executed in certain ways.
Technically, his work is not about the suppression of images or distortion, or the negation of what the image represents, but is about obscuring the images in order to create a different relationship between the final piece and the viewer.
His earlier works were experiments with collages that are based on inspiration from his travels mostly touching on issues related to the youth like fashion trends, music and life in general.
Conceptually, he touches on ‘taboo’ issues that remain quite controversial in Kenyan society such as commercial sex work and corruption. He says that through his work, he is making a visual diary of Kenya so that two or three decades from now young Kenyans can get a sense of the Nairobi of today. Soi’s art makes you laugh, think, and then react, it being his personal reflection and satirical commentary on contemporary social, economic and political trends in Kenya.
Born in 1972, he worked with Kuona Trust from 1996 to 2009. He was in charge of international exchange as a coordinator of the Wasanii international artists’ workshop and The international artist residency in kenya.