Precy Numbi is an eco-futuristic visual artist, sculptor and performer. After graduating in Graphic Arts and Plastic Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa, he is politically committed to the respect of human rights through militant performances that he creates in the public space. He then settled in Goma to build an artistic practice anchored in the territory of this region. From 2017, he begins international journeys with the performance of the robot sapiens Kimbalambala, which he will use on an international scale. Precy Numbi bears witness to his time and society by proposing creative solutions. He invites the spectator to mirror the symptoms of a society that throws away and thereby reflects its own behaviour in his works and performances, by interacting with it. "My works are heritage: created with yesterday's goods, turned into today's waste and hope for tomorrow". Used plastic bottles, car bodies, electronic waste, used clothes, ... are his primary resources for expressing himself. Whether he transforms them into poetic films, analogical characters, living sculptures, or contemporary masks, he wants first of all to show the strength of resistance and human resilience in the face of various problems.
Kimbalambala is a slang word in Lingala, whose ending has been doubled to emphasize on continuity and signify the wear and tear or obsolescence of a vehicle that has undergone several successive repairs (an old crate). Most vehicles that arrive in Africa are no longer allowed to drive in Europe and once their life there is over, they start a new one in Africa.
Composed of recycled waste from the cars’s keletons, including even electronic wires, the robot moves forward without headlights, mirrors, bumpers, driving licence, registration, comfort or alarms... just like the society and its bad behaviour. Animated by its creator to interact with people in its path, the artwork is like a sapiens robot, a sort of human species that would try to regain control over the machine and behind the illusion of omnipotence offered by the armour lies vulnerable flesh, mistreated by the mechanisms of the rigid sheet metal that surrounds it. Kimbalambala embodies human craziness. What place will humans give to robots? Will pollution dominate the world? Thus, Kimbalambala is also the story of a struggle of resistance between man and the machine that overcomes him.
Through this work, Precy Numbi questions us on our modes of overproduction, overconsumption and then rejection, but on another level, it is the whole world that he questions from a technological, ecological and political point of view. Creating this giant robots is also a positive way of showing that creation is always possible, even in miserable conditions. By carrying 23 kilos of metal and plastic waste on his back, the artist, through his performance, shows us a form of human resistance to the weight that the machine imposes on him today.