The 32nd Higashikawa Award Winners
The Overseas Photographer Award Oscar Muñoz
Lives in Cali, Colombia
Born in Popayán, Colombia. Oscar Muñoz studied art at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Cali during the 1970s. As an art student, he began making drawings based on photographic images and, although his studies did not specifically include photography or audiovisual media, these media and their relationships to reality and meaning-making have subsequently become central to his artistic practice.
Muñoz is also known for his use of ephemeral materials, in poetic reflections upon memory and mortality. In the 1980s and 1990s, Colombia was wracked with a war between feuding drug cartels and the Colombian government. “My work today,” Muñoz writes, “is based on my endeavor to understand the mechanism developed by a society which has ultimately suffered the routinization of war... A past, a present and in all likelihood a future full of violent events on a daily basis, which are stubbornly repeated, in a practically identical fashion.”
The “Protographs” exhibition, held at several venues in Colombia, Buenos Aires, Lima and Paris, showcases his career that has spanned nearly forty years. “Protographs” could be seen as a potential photograph, the image just before being frozen in the photograph.
In 2006, Muñoz founded Lugar a Dudas, a cultural center and residency program for artists. Located in Cali, Lugar a Dudas (space for doubts) has become a center for young artists to work through ideas and participate in a dialogue and public debate about art and politics.