Immersion: Maurice Mboa’s “soul prints” convey inner spirit of tigers in new exhibition

Immersion is a new exhibition from Cameroonian artist Maurice Mboa, which puts tigers in the spotlight of his signature “soul prints” to convey their inner being.

The exhibition, which runs from now until 27 May at the Tiger Gallery in Onitsuka Tiger’s flagship London store, will showcase the Geneva-based artist’s unique practice that combines painting and engraving on steel panels.

Maurice Mboa considers steel to be synonymous with the future. It is a material that evokes strength and speaks to the future of mankind. He selects dark sheets of steel, finding beauty in the contrasting lightness brought out by every stroke of his glass engraving tool. The intricate, biomorphic patterns that sprawl across the artist’s panels creates a rich vibrancy.

Speaking about Immersion, Maurice Mboa said: “Tigers symbolise strength, grace, courage and good fortune.”

The spiritual world is at the heart of Maurice Mboa’s artistic practice. As a teenager growing up in Cameroon, Maurice Mboa informally trained under his grandmother who was a traditional healer, learning to engage with the spirit of plants and nature as the centre of universal spirituality.

He explained: “I have always been described as a contemporary philosopher interrogating the lines and symbols that connect nature and as an anthropologist of bodies and souls.”

Known for his signature face-less portraits, often set in wild lush surroundings, Maurice Mboa’s artworks are intentionally ambiguous as the artist seeks to convey their inner spirit.

Despite the absence of features, each figure is imbued with a strong presence as they look out at the viewer at times questioning or mirroring those who stand before them. Maurice Mboa calls his portraits “Âme-preinte”or “soul prints”. Having endured multiple near-death experiences in his life, Mboa has a strong sense of the delicate balance between the physical body and the soul.

Maurice Mboa

Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle, entertainments, and storytelling of all kinds.

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