On the third floor of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, a gallery is currently filled with colorfully fantastical visions of the future. Crafted by the late Congolese artist Bodys Isek Kingelez, the cityscapes are part of Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams, the first retrospective of his work.
Kingelez created his sculptural visions of Africa’s future metropolises from everyday materials like cardboard, scrap metal, bottle caps, and recycled packaging. Though they were fictional, the buildings were built as an optimistic view of architecture’s power to change a city’s circumstance.
“Without a model, you are nowhere,” Kingelez once said. “A nation that can’t make models is a nation that doesn’t understand things, a nation that doesn’t live.”
The exhibition will span Kingelez’s multi-decade career, from his early works of standalone buildings to the elaborately crafted cities of the future he built later in life. City Dreams will run until January 2019—plenty of time to marvel at the work’s vibrant intricacies.