Digital: Luk Gama

Gama,Luk - Ké péyi

Luk Gama – péyi, n.d., still from GIF animation


The upcoming Digital exhibition features 39 artists from the Caribbean and the Caribbean Diaspora. Luk Gama from Guadeloupe is among the artists featured:


Luk “Lawkanzye” Gama is an artist based in Guadeloupe, who has been producing work professionally since 1998, as a graphic designer, illustrator and as producer of short fictional films. In 2007, he Illustrated the first book of a local Slam text by artist Thyemy Malo TiMalo : Pawòl a lòm vo lòm (translation: “Human value is measured by the value of his remarks”). In the same year, he was the adapter and designer of Opéra Nègre, a comic strip that accompanied a musical creation project of Didier Ramdine. Gama has participated in several exhibitions, some of which include Asi chimen … pou bout (translated: On the Way … Finally), the closing exhibition of the completed project in Port-Louis, Guadeloupe 2015 and Absent Art London, England, a group exhibition that was a part of the African and African-Caribbean Design Diaspora event, a British European Design Group initiative 2012.

Gama,Luk - Ké péyi (2)

Luk Gama – péyi, n.d., still from GIF animation


About the Work

“My research and experimentation involves trying to extract graphic principles out of an ‘oral’ culture. The work I am presenting here is called ‘Kè péyi,’ which could be translated as ‘a country heart.’ The work takes its source from a local traditional form of ‘beatbox,’ performed with the mouth, and named boulagèl or bouladjèl. While it is now disappearing, it is traditionally performed during funeral wakes and also during festive moments between friends in public (most often by young people).”

“In the animation, the moving text is an onomatopoeia that is performed as part of this tradition. Black arcs represent the specific clapping that usually provides the tempo and the red circle mimics the bass rhythm of this music.”

“I made this GIF as if it should exist everywhere, like on the internet, in order to transmit it to the world, and particularly to the Caribbean area. It expresses the ambivalence that divides Guadeloupean society: what road one should follow in a world perceived as belonging to the white men, a nation of people who are thought predominantly black. I find that ‘bursts’ of our collectives identity expressions, are like the heart beats of a people struggling to meet its need to exist. We are hustled by dead instincts and in the same time by life instincts.”

Gama,Luk - Ké péyi (4)

Luk Gama – péyi, n.d., still from GIF animation