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Konjit Seyoum

(b Addis Ababa, 1949).

Ethiopian painter active in Switzerland. He graduated from the Addis Ababa School of Fine Arts in 1971, comparing Byzantine and Ethiopian church paintings. He earned his BA (1972–6) at the Art Academy of Frankfurt am Main and moved to Switzerland in 1976, where he became a member of the Society of Swiss Painters, Sculptors and Architects (GSMBA). In 1983 he studied contemporary African-American art in Washington, DC. His work reflect his interest in abstraction, mural painting and magic scrolls as well as the influence of Gebre Krestos Desta and Skunder. Inspired by music, deep emotions, his surroundings and current events, his mostly acrylic paintings deal with social and political issues. His canvases are immensely rich in colour, filled with lines, rows of dots, circles, sparkling bubbles, magic scrolls, masks, birds, animals and rootlike creatures (e.g. Roots, 1996). Often Hiwet divides a painting with a crosslike form to create four distinct spaces, each with its own character and intensity but at the same time joined in one unique work forming a central image. He has exhibited in Ethiopia, Switzerland, Germany, France, the UK, Sweden and the USA....