“Initially as a painter then as a photographer, I realized that a painting or a photo is essentially motion captured still—hence my choice to start working as a motion digital artist. My first experience on completing a digital animation sparked an emotional glory in my heart. From then on I have chased the same glory and I endeavour to pass it on to my audience. As a 3D artist, I have the power to create and build a life around my mind which is much more fulfilling than what we see in real life. I judge the success of my work on audience reaction.”
Eric Mukalazi will exhibit inside the premises of Alliance Française and Goethe-Zentrum Kampala, Mackinnon Rd, Nakasero.
Eric Mukalazi is a self-taught digital artist. He began his career as a painter and photographer and in 2008 he exhibited in a group show at AKA Gallery Kampala. In the same year his photographic work was shown at the Serena Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda where he worked as a photojournalist for The New Times newspaper. In 2009 Mukalazi moved into filmmaking. He explains, “I realised that a painting or a photo is essentially motion captured still. It was from here that I started working as a motion digital artist.”
Eric Mukalazi currently works freelance for film companies and web designers. Prior to the KLA ART 012 festival his animation films have not been screened publicly. “My first experience on completing a digital animation sparked an emotional glory in my heart. From then on I have chased the same glory and I endeavour to pass it on to my audience”.
Eric has executed a short animated film focusing on the main character Breezy Nuts. The story is set in Kampala and conveys a vivid portrait of a young man’s life in the city and the challenges he faces. Breezy Nuts is a stereotypical urban adolescent who gets caught up in a robbery and is unjustly sent to jail. Through the means of its visual language the movie offers an accurate depiction of male urban youth culture in Kampala and the destructive mechanisms of state control.
To execute his three-dimensional animation, Eric works closely with cartoon artist Enock Musoke whose sketches function as a basis for the film. “I begin an animation by talking and collaborating with a 2D artist. The characters start breathing from the white paper before they are created into computer-generated imagery.”
To present the movie Eric creates a small scale cinema in his container; by covering the inside walls with black fabric the viewer steps directly into the darkened room. On the outside Eric has created murals and sculptures that relate to the animated film. Graffiti showing an image from his short film is hung next to container, another visual quotation of urban youth culture.
In addition and with the help of orphans from O.N.C.A.P Eric constructs an installation of Kampala city made out of wire. The wire installation not only points reference to the setting of the film but also to the processes of animation where 3D computer graphics use ‘wire frame models’ to visually present 3D objects.
Mukalazi judges the success of his work by the reaction of the audience and muses, “I want the audience to enjoy the whole experience, my intention is to make people laugh whilst communicating a critical message.”
Located at Goethe-Zentrum and Alliance Française (a venue well known across Kampala for its public screenings of foreign films) Eric insists that the location will help the communication of his production. He states that, “although the nature of ‘Breezy Nuts’ will relate to a local audience, they are not necessarily accustomed with animation movies.”