Matt Kayem

Matt Kayem (Michael Matthew Kayiwa) was born in the small town of Mityana, Uganda and currently lives and works in Kampala, Uganda. After his secondary school, he joined Michelangelo College of Creative Arts, Kisubi. After three years at the art school, he attained a certificate and diploma in art and design in October 2015. Kayem applies his skills in painting, sculpture, installation, performance, graffiti and photography. He has participated in a number of group shows which include “Ekifananyi kya Muteesa” at Makerere art gallery and at the Photo Museum in Antwerp (2017), Laba Arts Festival (2016), Kampala Biennale (2016, 2018) and others. Kayem has had three solo shows; Pop.Rap.Hip (2016), Cool Afrika (2018) and Cool Afrika 2 (2019). Matt has been part of AtWork workshop by Simon Njami (2018), several art writing workshops and a finalist at the Mukumbya-Musoke art prize (2018). Matt is also an art writer/critic whose work has been published in Start Journal,, ContemporaryAnd and 


Matt Kayem focused his residency on expanding his use of materials and expanding his understanding of what it means to be a ‘self-loving African’. He used kitenge, denim, and thick brushstrokes to create images of and for “Cool Africa”. These images act as projections of an optimistic future, with Africa at the center. This series also uses the body as a tool of empowerment rather than suppression.