KAPmalawi.org mwali_02mwali_02mwali_02

Kungoni Art Project - Mua Mission, MALAWI

KAP Data

KAP Data seeks to make original and new material relating to Kungoni Centre searchable and accessible to visitors and scholars. The Database is being compiled with FileMaker Pro software.

Each entry has a unique KAP Number, which serves to place it on the Database, and is a new and comprehensive system of reference for Kungoni work. An entry comprises a written description and, where possible, a detailed visual record, which incorporates original photographs derived from interviews and visits c. 2012 to date and material scanned from the Kungoni Archive or contributed by collectors. All photographs are associated with the KAP Number and are copied to a separate archive.

KAP Data is divided into three parts.


KUNGONI PEOPLE is concerned with the people and communities, around Mua Mission, throughout Malawi and ‘beyond the Lake’, who have contributed to the development of Kungoni Centre throughout the four decades of its existence. Its achievement in art requires consideration not so much as the work of a single directing mind or a collective but as the product of numerous individual artistic vocations, with due regard to ties of family and kinship, personal influence and the relationship between master and pupil, often extending over several generations.

Click here to discover more.


KUNGONI WORK is concerned with the artistic activity of Kungoni Centre. It embraces work in all media: public commissions and objets d’art, and some for utility; creations that deserve their place in the historical record and ‘airport art’ that is sold to pay school fees; religious and secular. The artists’ choice of themes constitutes an encyclopaedia of their lived experience in rural Malawi at a time of rapid social change. At its best their work develops and draws on a rich visual idiom to express their everyday concerns and the cosmology of the three peoples (Chewa, Ngoni and Yao) that inhabit the Mua area.

Click here to discover more.


KUNGONI TREES is concerned with the trees and timber that are important to the artists of Kungoni Centre, both as material for carving and for their symbolic or practical value. Deforestation is a pressing concern for Kungoni Centre, and directly threatens its livelihood. Its response has been to emphasize the dignity that art and carving, when conducted responsibly, might confer on trees, and to engage in a programme of record and, where possible, civic education and replanting.

Click here to discover more.


KAP Map explains in detail the structure of KAP Data. A version will be published online on completion.

KAP Data holds currently 3200+ entries and 8800+ photographs. In addition to a detailed catalogue of Kungoni Centre itself, work from throughout Malawi (both religious and secular) is represented, as well as six African countries and twelve countries Worldwide. Sixteen substantial private collections of Kungoni work have been archived. The oldest work (by Claude Boucher Chisale) dates to the 1950’s; and any interesting new piece that is produced at Kungoni Centre is recorded before it is dispatched or offered for sale. We have biographies of over 220 artists who have gathered around Kungoni Centre over the years, together with their principal patrons and others who have contributed to the development of Kungoni Centre. KAP Data is supported by a substantial body of scanned documents and a library of some 450 digitalized DVD’s of original film footage.