Artist: Simon N' Sondé
Born: 31.12.1935 in Tchitondi (Republic Congo)
1953: 1st Place at the admission examination at the "Ecole des Arts" in Brazzaville
as of 1953: Studies of graphic art
since 1955: Prizes in Paris, Brazzaville, Dakar (Senegal)
since 1962: Residence in France, China, Korea, Yugoslavia
since 1972: Living in France
Member of the International Ceramic Academy in Geneva/Switzerland
Simon N' Sondé died in 2020
The Bear shows a journey through the world of the Congo with its colours and history, and is, at the same time, an introduction to a world without boundaries between the living and the dead. The depictions on the bear consist of the four colours symbolic of the Congo: white, grey, black, and red.
White signifies the mind, the invisible and medicine.
Black is for injustice. Grey is for the family, for the home, and for the healing power which dwells inside it.
The colour red symbolizes power, challenge and contact with one's ancestors.
On the back right leg, one can see the emblem of the large kingdom of the Congo which consisted of four parts. The heart of this kingdom was called "Zita dya nzo."
Above the African map, there is a sun which serves as a reminder of the Diaspora of this people. Parts of the community can be found to this very day in South America, the Carribbean, and in Europe.
The "Ganga tchi ba," to the right of the flag, is a further medium between the visible and invisible. He possesses the ability to heal, as well as to dispense justice.
The meticulous depiction of the healing ceremony (Nkissi) is to emphasize its importance.
The Bear is a real chief and, as a sign of his strength, is wearing a red necklace (Nkampa) with three leopard's teeth in it.
Sponsor: Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Niederlassung Berlin