Ali Mroivili, alias Napalo, was born in 1961 in Moroni, Comoros, where he currently lives and works. From 1987 to 1992, he studied at Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Cergy-Pontoise and then completed his artistic training at the Institut des Hautes Etudes en Arts Plastiques of Paris in 1992 and at Amsterdam’s Rijks Academy in 1995.
His artwork – paintings, sculptures, drawings and installations within public space – are the result of a use of decoys, camouflage and, more generally, skillfully operated paradoxical and burlesque staged scenes. With irony and humor, Napalo Mroivili invites the spectator to witness the absurd ambivalence of certain situations and universal thoughts, while undermining preconceived ideas.
Napalo Mroivili also creates paintings on Swahili, Comorian and Bantu shawls worn by Comorian women and the majority of East African Muslim women. For him, they are used as a tool of reflection and artistic expression, allowing him to confront, in his own way, the issues of identity and globalization.
A true ambassador of Comorian culture, he opened the kARThala center and the Napalo Art Gallery, in 2009, in order to support young contemporary Comorian artists. His work is often exhibited in his own country. In addition, he has shown his work in Senegal, Italy, Belgium, Réunion, Holland and Mauritius. His work was also shown in the prestigious Africa Now! exhibition, initiated by the World Bank and presented in Washington, D.C, in 2008. On several occasions he has served as a jury member for the Jeux de la Francophonie, in the Sculpture category.
The Future, 2015,
Acrylic on traditional cotton shawl,
154 x 104 cm,