In 2001, Kura Shomali interrupted his medical studies to join the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa, and participate in the formation of the Eza Possibles. Shomali predominately works on paper, combining bold charcoal, ballpoint pen, gouache, ink, marker and collage, which create the unique texture and appearance of his works. His first drawings were made in a sort of ‘emergency’, inspired by the hustle and bustle of Kinshasa, urban advertising and the magazines that circulated at the time. Shomali’s work is reflective of the chaotic megalopolis where he lives and, in his words ‘digests’. In some of his recent works, Shomali appropriates images of known photographers of the continent, such as Samuel Fosso and Sammy Baloji, among others. Shomali also works with puppetry, staging challenging narratives which are then filmed, by way of exposing the corruption and political turmoil of his country.
In recent years he has received more international exposure, most notably having featured in the group exhibition Paper at the Saatchi Gallery in London, the UK in 2013, and Beauté Congo –1926-2015 – Congo Kitoko at Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris, France in 2015.