Remember my honesty and ability to be unassuming

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What do you see when you envision the future of the Belgian creative scene? For us, we see diverse, unique perspectives, representative of the world around us. That is exactly why we have been working on our 20-something issues since 2014. These editions feature 20 people in their (pre-)twenties who are a guide, an inspiration or an Earlybird for the young generation of today in Belgium. It is the greatest honour to step into the minds of some of the most innovative young people in Belgium; and learn about their dreams, fears, inspirations and even their celebrity crushes. This year’s list was co-curated with Kevin Kotahunyi, founder of Please Add Color.

Samuel Lemba  

he/him, 22, painter and art student, Brussels

What do we & our readers need to remember about you?

My honesty and ability to be unassuming. It’s that moment when I’m going to the studio to work on my paintings, that gives me these inexplicable feelings.  


What artists are you listening to?/What book are you currently reading?

Oxlade, is a young artist from Niger that I love right now because he breathes music and he is vocally and melodically amazing. My song of the moment is Rexxie’s Frenemies ft. Oxlade.  


I don't read, I'm a visual man. The last book I bought is a book by Samuel Jablon, a painter. The last movie that moved me the most and especially motivated me is King Richard featuring the Williams sisters.  




What are you doing daily at 9 pm/9 am

At 9 pm, I play on my console either Call of Duty or FIFA, at 9 am I sleep, as there is nothing better than sleeping.   


What’s your personal utopia?

For me, it would be a world without poverty. Unfortunately, I am much too realistic to imagine a perfect world, because I think that would remove the taste of life. 

A world without poverty is my personal utopia

What brings you satisfaction?

Do nothing and focus on what I like to do, free my brain from responsibilities and enjoy this moment of innocence and naivety for a few seconds. When I’m able to do that, I say or do something that turns out to be true or right. My intuition gives me the most satisfaction.  


How do you relax?

It depends, sometimes it could be because of an object I own, or simply when I’m on vacation in a place where the atmosphere gives me inspiration.   


What’s one of your sources of inspiration that may surprise people?

Eating while watching a good documentary.

What would you like to be doing in 10 years’ time?

Being in a house in the hills in the sun with an incredible view of the vineyards. It will be a moment of happiness and peace.   


What is the latest/future project you are working on?

The last project I'm working on questions the idea of representation; who are we and what makes us who we are… with different notions like narcissism, etc... The rest is secret!  


What will the second part of 2022 bring you?

The beginning of great things, the vision in my works.   




Who is the person that most influenced you throughout your development in life?

My dad, just for his story, his humility and his honesty. He embodies the traditional man in the Modern World for me. My mother taught me what to do to achieve my goals. Her determination and dedication mean a lot to me. As they say, I have her blood in my veins.

My mother taught me what to do to achieve my goals

What is the most important thing you’ve learned lately?

Turn your tongue 7 times before speaking and keep calm during difficult moments or silence. If you know how to do this, you will not be afraid of anything and prevent emotions from influencing your decisions.   


Is there anyone in your scene who needs more attention?

Leon Uno is a very talented young painter who works with me in the studio. His approach to painting is very remarkable, sensitive and very subtle. He is a young man to follow and check out!! 

Comfort food/speciality dish?

Musaka is an African dish that is just incredibly good and you should take the time to let the tastes absorb in your mouth.  


Celebrity crush?

Halle Berry for her charm and what she embodies.  


Most irrational fear?/Most rational fear?

Working in a place that does not reflect my beliefs and prevents me from being successful and happy.   


If you were a cartoon character in a show, what would be your uniform?

Timmy Turner, because it would be fun to have magical godfathers.  


What were you like as a child?

Funny! I really lived in my own universe. I used to play football with paper but without a ball. All the different scenes would go on in my head…   



If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Being invisible, because nobody could hurt you, be jealous or have a negative influence on you.   


What’s the one thing you can’t live without?

My thoughts. That may seem strange to some, but taking shelter in my thoughts is something essential to me.   


If there was a book about your life, what would the title be?

Samuel, because when I was born my entry made a big impact on the lives of my parents. My father always told me: ‘Samuel you’re not like everybody.’  


Biggest red flag?

L’hypocrisie et la moquerie, le karma est une salope!  


Biggest dream?

Staying alive even when I am no longer on earth. That is to say, I hope my works and my art remain an inspiration for many others.   


Favourite quote from a book/movie/show/song?

‘Stop dreaming kobo, you’ll never succeed in music. Today the mouths are closing, it’s their eyes that are starting to speak'  


Tell me about the use of colour and the human body in your practice?

It all depends on the importance I want to give to the subject of my painting by seeking balance and dynamics between it. I question precisely this idea of representation because first of all, it is a question of identity. I wonder about the investment of psychic energy which has the self as its object, by approaching it in different ways and banning all clichés to represent that human identity. I seek to rewrite the question of identity.   


How did you begin working with Please Add Color?

I was published by a famous page on Instagram called @love.watts and Kev sent me a DM and everything went from there.


Photos by @salucaroul  


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