GEORGE LILANGA - See paintings for sale

George Lilanga and the Family

The Unknown George Lilanga: Part I

The young George Lilanga. The photo was provided by the Lilanga's from Nandimba, Mozambique
Daniel Augusta in the village Nandimba in Mozambique with Arinata and Juliet Mfaume, the first wife and the first child of George Lilanga. George Lilanga fled from Mozambique with his wife in 1964 and lived in refugee camp Rutamba in Tanzania for 3 years. When Juliet his daughter was born, he left for Dar es Salaam while his wife and daughter returned back to Nandimba in 1970 where they live until today. 4 March 2011, Nandimba. Copyright: Daniel Augusta
George Lilanga was born on the Mueda Plateau in Mozambique. The Mueda Plateau or more often called the Makonde Plateau is the place where the famous Modern Makonde Blackwood sculpture movement started. He was born in the village Nandimba which is the centre of the Makonde art until today. Until today, the small village is home to about 50 active sculptors, some of them internationally recognized, such as Matias Ntundu.

Nandimba, the native village of Geoge Lilanga is located only 5 km south of the village Miula which is considered to be the very place where the modern Makonde Blackwood sculpture started. According to Kingdon (2002), the first Makonde non-functional object was made by Nyekenya Nangundu from the Miula village in the late 1920. It was a small head about 10 cm in height made in lightwood and sold to Portuguese.

Daniel Augusta in front of the house belonging to the Lilanga family in the village Mchauru Mwitika on 18th January 2009. Before George Lilanga fled from Mozambique, his mother Suwakina Mkosi aldready crossed Ruvuma river to Tanzania and settled in Mchauru Mwitika, a village just at the river Ruvuma. The year was 1960. She died in Mchauru Mwitika in 1977. Copyright: Daniel Augusta
George Lilanga's mother fled from Mozambique after the Mueda massacre. She settled in Mchauru Mwitika on the bank of the Ruvuma river after 1960 and died in the same village on 1st July 1977. Her name was Suwakina Mkosi, one of 7 children born to Maria and Jacobo Mkosi.
George Lilanga was born just a few years later, in 1934. But it should be pointed out that he didn’t belong to the clan of Nyekeneya nor to any other dominant clan within the Makonde art movement. He belonged to Mwera clan which explains why he worked in a relative isolation from other Makonde artists.

But Nandimba village wasn’t only the greatest Makonde art centre on the Mueda platue. It played a big role in the Makonde liberation movement of Mozambique too where many Makonde carvers were involved. When George Lilanga was 26 years old, he witnessed the infamous Mueda Massacre. The Mozambican government claims that as many as 600 Makonde people were massacred in the town Mueda on 16th June 1960, just 10 km from Lilanga’s  village.

George Lilanga's father died in the village Nandimba in Mozambique on 8th October 1962. It was the same year as the Liberation Army FRELIMO was founded in the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam. In 1962, George Lilanga stil resided in Nandimba. The name Lilanga was first used by his father, it means "patch" in Shimakonde language. George Lilanga's paternal grandfather and grandmother, Nkapimile and Julietta are also burried in Nandimba. Copyright: Daniel Augusta
George Lilanga and his wife Arinata Mfaume crossed the Ruvuma river between Tanzania and Mozambique at the place shown on the photo. The photo is taken from the village Ngapa, Mozambique. On the other side of the river there is the village Mchauru Mwitika where George Lilanga's mother Sulawesa Mkosi settled already in around 1960. George Lilanga crossed the river in October 1964 and never returned back. He later moved to Dar es Salaam where he became a famous artist. Photomontage: Daniel Augusta
George Lilanga himself was at least once arrested by the Portuguese police for provocative songs, according to his uncle Agustino Malaba. But unlike his uncle who was a FRELIMO soldier, Lilanga never joined the armed Makonde struggle against the oppressors which resulted in the liberation of the whole Mozambique after 500 years of Portuguese colonial rule.

Instead, George Lilanga fled Mozambique just in the moment of the FRELIMO’s attack on Portuguese post at Chai on 25th September 1964. It was when the war in Mozambique started. George Lilanga was 30 years old. He fled with his young wife Arinata Mfaume through the village Ngapa where he crossed to the Ruvuma river to Mchauru Mwitika in Tanzania. Here he joined his mother and other relatives for a few weeks before he continued to the refugee camp Rutamba, near Lindi town.

Before the exodus of Makonde at the start of the war, Tanzania had already a lot of Makonde immigrants from Tanzania. It is estimated that in 1948, there were about 50.000 Mozambican Makonde in Tanzania. They were distinct group from the Tanzanian Makonde.  In fact the Tanzanian Makonde seldom indulged in the carving art.  

To my suprise, I found many decorated huts in Nandimba. It proofs that there is also a visual mural art tradition in and around Nandimba. Interestingly, the wife of the most famous Tanzanian painter Eduardo Said Tinga Tinga comes from Nandimba. Her name is Agatha Mataka, a Muedan Makonde. It is not proofed yet, but it seems that even the first Tinga Tinga painters Januari Linda and Adeus Matambwe who painted in 1970-ties came from the Nandimba region. In fact Adeus is said to be Agathas relative and Januari is relative to Lilanga, according to his uncle Malaba (George Lilanga passed in 2005 so the most reliable source of information is his uncle Malaba now
The carvers in Nandimba are organized into different groups or cooperatives. One of the cooperative is called Association Combatentes Aldeia which means in English t The Village Fighters Cooperative. During the war the Cooperative supplied the scultures to the Liberation Army FRELIMO which then sold thte sculptures in Mtwara and Dar es Salaam. Until today, the fighting spirit seems to survive in Nandimba as well as in neighbouring village Idovo, Mpeme and Miula. Copyright: Daniel Augusta
Kingdon in his books writes:"Mozambican Makonde were reffered to by their neighbours in Tanzania as the Mavia, or "the angry ones..... they were despised for their exotic diet, which sometimes included unclean or supposedly revolting animals such as wild pigs, snakes, bush rats and monkeys. they were also despised for the mistaken belief that they did not bury their dead and were widely feared in the equally mistaken belief that they practised cannibalism".

This may seem as exaggerate statements but some rumours about the Mozambican Makonde live in Tanzania until today. When the famous artist Eduardo Said Tinga Tinga raised by Makua mother married the Mozambican Makonde Agatha Mataka in 1967 who by the way also was born in the small village Nandimba like George Lilanga, the other painters from the Makua community distanced
This house in Nandimba, the native village of George Lilanga, was decorated with words FRELIMO. FRELIMO was the Liberation Struggle Movement founded in 1962 by mostly Makonde people in Dar es Salaam in 1962. The first president of FRELIMO was Eduardo Mondlane but he was assassinated in Dar es Salaam in 1969. The current president of Mozambic Phillip Nyusi was also a FRELIMO fighter of Makonde origin. He was born about 30 km from Nandimba in 1958. Copyright: Daniel Augusta
themselves from her and her children, something which the daughter Martina feels until today.

Most of the carvers in Nandimba use such structures. Copyright: Daniel Augusta
George Lilanga joined the first and possibly the biggest wave of Mozambican  Makonde refugees to Tanzania ever. Only in October month 1964, tens of thousands of refugees crossed the border to Tanzania. They concentrated in the town Newala before the Rutamba and other refugee centers were opened.

Rutamba Refugee Center where George Lilanga was placed, was opened in 1964 until 1976. It consisted of 2600 hectars land and harboured about 11.000 refugees. There were schools, shops, hospitals etc.
Without Makonde tribe, the liberation of Mozambique would take much longer time. The Makonde people are were great fighters. And the Makonde sculptures played a vital role in the war as the sales funded FRELIMO and purchase of new weapon for the armed resistance. It is the reason why the Makonde scultures are often displayed together with fighters, FRELIMO symbols and guns like on this photo from the Museum of Mueda. Copyright: Daniel Augusta
And The Tanzania Christian Refugee Service reported that there was also a large Makonde carver community:” The majority of refugees at Rutamba were of Makonde tribe who after a short period of stay, started practising wood carving which is their traditional art. Many carvings were made and
A veteran FRELIMO fighter at outskirts of Mueda town wishes to strike a business deal with me concerning some blackwood items
with mesold not only in the settlement as it later grew into a cooperative venture when the carvings were sold through the Regional Cooperative Union which came as an export trade. This became an established cash income at Rutamba for the skilled artisans and has contributed to the general well-being of the settlement”

George Lilanga stayed with her wife Arinata in the refugee camp for three years, until 1967. Although in was in his twenties, he went to the school for the first time in the refugee camp. And he got
Nandimba is not only the native village of George Lilanga. In fact, many more Muedan Makonde sculptors who are active in Tanzania are born in Nandimba or just in its neighbourhood. One of them is the famous Kashimiri Matao. He learned the carving art from Nyekenya who sculpted the first known non-functional object in late 1920. And off course, even the famous Agustino Malaba comes from Nandimba. He was the Muedan Makonde FRELIMO fighter. Others are Nafasi Mpagua or Hussein Ananangola, all quite recognized sculptors. And we shouldnt forget Samaki Likankoa who was the founder of the shetani scultures. Shortly, Nandimba is the capital of the Modern Makonde blackwood sculpture
two children in the camp but both died. Only when he moved away from the refugee camp to a nearby village Kikwetu at the shore of the Indian Ocean,
Daniel Augusta and Agustino Malaba, the veteran FRELIMO freedom fighter who struggled for the liberation of the Mozambique and Muedan Makonde sculptor who brought his cousin George Lilanga to Dar es Salaam and gave him job at the Cultural House as watchman. Malaba was one of the founders of the Cultural House in Tanzania (Nyumba ya Sanaa) which was supported and opened by the first president of Tanganyika, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. Agustino Malaba was also involved in the making of the Lilanga scultures as he was one of Lilanga's assistants and carved the Lilanga shetanis. He is active until today in a Dar es Salaam suburb Mbagala
he got a third child who survived until today. Her name is Juliet.

However in Kikwetu, George Lilanga met a new women and the family split. Arinata with the daughter Juliet returned back to Nandimba village while George Lilanga came with the new wife to Dar es Salaam. It was still a war in Mozambique but Nandimba was in the liberated war zone in 1970. In fact many carvers stayed in Nandimba during the whole war and founded a carvers’ cooperative. The sculptures were sold in Mtwara by FRELIMO soldiers and thus funded the liberation movement.

But George Lilanga was on the way to the Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam. Like in Nandimba, the Mozambican Makonde  sculptors organized themselves in cooperatives which funded the FRELIMO liberation movement through the sale of the Makonde sculptures. The leader sculptor in Dar es Salaam who organized the military wing of Makonde carvers was Constantino Mpakula. But again, George Lilanga never joined the movement and never financially supported FRELIMO as many of his fellow Makonde scultptors did.


The Known George Lilanga: Part II

George Lilanga (right) and Prince Charles (left) in the House of Cultural in 1970-ties. In the middle you see Robino Ntila who provided the photo.
The family of George Lilanga from Mozambique on the visit at his studio in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. His first wife Arinata, the first daughter Juliet and his sister Virginia. Bakari is also relative to George Lilanga who was among the Lilanga's assistants who painted the scultures. The photo provided by the Lilanga's family
My aim with the article about George Lilanga was to document George Lilangas life until the age of 37. His life after 1971  when he got an employment at the Tanzanian Culture House is well known and therefore I cite from Wikipedia:

In 1971, George Lilanga got his first job, thanks to his uncle, Agustino Malaba, an already well-known sculptor who would be his future collaborator. He worked as a night guard at the House of Art (Nyumba ya Sanaa), a typical African center for the development of art and craftsmanship. Lilanga's talents were soon recognised by Jean Pruitt. George Lilanga joined there other artists like Robino Ntila, Augustino
George Lilanga in Japan in nineties(Middle). On the right you see Noel Kapanda. The story goes that when the Japanese found that George Lilanga cannot handle the brush so good, they continued only with Noel Kapanda. George Lilanga visited Japan one or two occasions but then only Noel Kapanda was invited to Japan. He visited Japan about 7 times and it is said that he painted the Lilanga paintings there
Malaba and Patrick Francis Imanjama. He began to create batiks, works on goatskin and on sheets of iron for the finishing of railings and gates.

Daniel Augusta in the Lilanga Studio in Mbagala, Dar es Salaam in Januari 2007
In 1974, he was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. "I was always very tired, unable to follow my normal daily routine. Therefore, I decided to go in for a complete checkup in the local hospital. On that occasion, the doctors determined that I had diabetes."

In 1978, George Lilanga participated in a collective exhibition of African artists in Washington D.C. Of the 280 works presented, about 100 were by Lilanga. It was on this occasion that he was compared with Jean Dubuffet.

In the 1980s Lilanga participated a few times on Salzburg Summer
George Lilanga (left) and Robino Ntila (right) in Germany. The phot ws provided by Robino Ntila
Academy. There he learned to produce etching works which became to an important basic for his later coloured art works. Subsequently he dedicated himself almost exclusively to painting. His Shetani were represented two-dimensionally on Masonite (inexpensive panels made from wood fibre pressed, frequently used in poor African dwellings for stopping up attic roofs and as insulation), canvas, batiks and goat skin frames.

George Lilanga with one of his assistants, Robert Karinto. Robert Karinto was one of Lilanga's assistant carvers. Photo provided by Robert Karinto
In the late 1990s, his diabetes worsened with severe complications. Lilanga was forced to reorganise his work, putting together an atelier that included numerous young pupils and his own relatives who were also sculptors and painters. They were closely supervised by Lilanga, and began to take over part of the work that Lilanga could no longer easily do by himself.

In 2000, the combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease led to a rapid deterioration in Lilanga's health.
George Lilanga on the wheelchair in 2004, only 1 year before he passed away in 2005. He is interviewed by Peter-Andreas Kamphausen, the director of the Hamburg Mawingu Collection. Copyright: HMC
Due to gangrene, in October 2000 his right leg had to be amputated. In December of that year, the left leg was also amputated. Lilanga thus had to use a wheelchair; but after returning to his home in January 2001, he resumed his work.

In 2001, due to his serious physical impairments, he returned to small works with ink on paper and small goatskins 22.5 x 22.5 cm in size, which could be done more quickly and easily. With the assistance of his atelier, however, he also continued to create paintings of considerable size, and until shortly before his death, he produced large canvases, Masonites and tondos.

Lilanga died on Monday 27 June 2005, in Dar es Salaam, in his house-atelier at Mbagala.

The Expedition Lilanga

My first trip to the Ruvuma river which makes border between Tanzania and Mozambique. January 2009. Since then I made more than 10 more trips to south Tanzania and Mozambique mainly for the purpose of the research of the origin of the Tinga Tinga and Lilanga art
Crossing of the Ruvuma river from Tanzania to Mozambique in February 2011
I bought a small Chinese motorbike with engine capacity 125 CC in Dar es Salaam. The price was about 800 dollars and they are sold so cheaply until today. They go roughly 15.000 Km without major repairs but then start to disintegrate. 15.000 Km was more than enough for a trip which I aimed to do in order to see the birth place of George Lilanga.

But before the trip, I decorated the motorbike with different Tinga Tinga paintings. I know that I should use the Lilanga paintings but I preferred just paintings of colourful animals so that the police wouldn’t ask me too many questions if they saw the Lilanga spirits!

Anyway – I took with me a Czech archaeologist  Jana too, because I wanted to see some old rock paintings. I thought that Jana would find the old stuff. We started the trip in February 2011. It takes two days from the big Tanzanian city Dar es Salaam up to the river
The first hero monument seen on the trip in northern Mozambique. Often they are carved in wood and painted - like the Lilanga spirits
Ruvuma which is the border between Tanzania and Mozambique. It is
Many mural paintings were spotted on the main road between the beach town Mocimboa da Praia and Mueda. The distance is between these two towns 110 km. Just 20 km before coming to Mueda, there is a village called Namaua which is the birthplace of the current Mozambican president Philip Nyusi. Like George Lilanga, he is also Muedan Makonde.
about 600 km south along the shore of the Indian Ocean. It is a nice road, new one built under the President Benjamin Mkapa. It connects the south Tanzania with the rest of the country.

Only 60 km wasn’t finished, the worst and most difficult stretch. I remember that in 2009, it took me almost the whole day to cover the 60 km. It is in the one of the biggest deltas in the world of the river Rufiji and there is a huge amount of sand. I wasn’t so good driver at that time but also had bad luck as it was a dry period and my motorbike dived a feet into sand every 5th meter.

The mural paintings in Mozambican towns and cities are quite common. Usually, these advertise some bussines. This painting was spotted in Palma
But now in 2011, we passed this stretch within few hours. The other difficult stretch is around the river Ruvuma, just south of Mtwara. There are no asphalt roads and no bridge. So a lot of mud. And the crossing is made often in small duggouts but this time we crossed with a bigger wooden boat. We hadn’t have much luck. Just after we crossed the river, we got stuck in mud. It was impossible to get out without help. Luckily many people just crossed the river on boats with us and helped to push me up to the custom and border control.

A typical village setting on the Mueda Plateau in northern Mozambique. Notice the monument in the middle of the village. Usually it is a memorial to some hero, mostly a FRELIMO fighter from the war against Portuguese which took place just in recent history, about 40 years ago.
When our passports were stamped with Mozambican visas, we continued to the first town in Mozambique, Palma. But just few kilometres on the road, we falled down into sand. But I scratched by foot. I got certainly tens such scratches but this one started to be infected.

When we arrive to Mueda, the injury got bad and I couldn’t go on feet for at leat two or three days. But I could still go around on my motorbike to surrounding villages. It was during this week that I met Lilanga’s family when I waited for my foot to heal.

But it was a difficult week. It was very rainy and my foot was painful. Only the excitement about the findings of the whereabouts of the Lilanga family made me to forget the difficulties. I did hear before that George Lilanga wasn’t born in Tanzania but in Mozambique in Nandimba but what I have find has surprised me. It was like to find the secret Lilanga castle.

Jana Richterova, a Czech archeologist who accompanied me on the Lilanga expedition. Here she sits with the first wife of George Lilanga in Nandimba, Mozambique
The Tinga Tinga motorbike in front of the Lilanga family house in Nandimba, Mozambique
There in Nandimba, in different country, 1000 km away from the Tanzanian life of George Lilanga, I found Lilanga’s first wife, his first daughter, he brothers, uncles and the whole family. I even visited Lilanga’s grave. Yes, George Lilanga came to Dar es Salaam basically alone and started here a new life. He founded a new family while the old one was left behind.

And nowhere except Nandimba and the surrounding village I found so many Makonde scultpures, so many
The road to the grave of Lilanga's father in Nandimba village, Mozambique
active artists. In Nandimba there was even a Makonde art cooperative and a lot of mural paintings on the huts, even though many
Until today, the close relatives to George Lilanga practise the carving art in the village Nandimba, in Mozambique. We can just mention the Lilanga's cousin Andre, born to Virginia.
were just childrens’ pictures.

However I also felt that the family members were somehow dissapointed that they were left behind by George Lilanga. Even the Spanish national newspaper El Pais reported the sad feeling of Lilanga's relatives. George Lilanga never came back to Nandimba after he left the village in 1964. There was only one way traffic – his first born daughter and other relatives did came several time to Dar es Salaam to visit George Lilanga. He even bought some house in Mbagala to his daughter, I have heard.

A showroom in Nandimba with wooden painted sculptures. Could George Lilanga get the inspiration to paint his shetani sculptures from here? After all, he lived in Nandimba until he was 26 years old. He fled Mozambique in 1964
At that time I didn’t know that even the wife of the famous artist Eduardo Said Tinga Tinga came from the same village as George Lilanga did. Her family still lives in Nandimba. It could be exciting to see if Lilanga and Tinga Tinga are related. At least what we know today is that Tinga Tinga’s best friend and painter Januari Linda, a Makonde was a relative to George Lilanga. Lilanga’s research may give a clue about Tinga Tinga’s birth place which is still unknown until today.

After the painful but exciting week in Mueda, we prepared for the trip back to Tanzania. In fact we had to leave Mozambique for another reason. My bank blocked my Visa Card after
This hero monument is located in the centre of the Nandimba village. it is a wooden sculpture which is painted with enamel colours. It is exactly the same technique as applied by George Lilanga on the shetani sculptures. George Lilanga was born in Nandimba village in 1934
it appeared to them that it is suspecting that someone tried to draw money from Northern Mozambique.  So without much money we started our trip to the new bridge at Negomano.

This bridge was just one year old. It was the only bridge between Tanzania and Mozambique on the Ruvuma river. The 120 km road from Mueda to
Time to return back to Tanzania. There is a road from Mueda to the Unity Bridge in Negomano on the border. The 120 km stretch took 2 days because of the bad road conditions
the bridge was again a horrible experience. It took two days. It rained the first day and the road was so slippery. It was like ice. And the mud blocked the front wheel completely. We had to take away the wheel out several times to clean the mud.

We didn’t make it the first day and prepared to sleep in front of a hut in a small village, just outside when Jana took out the last 5 dollars which she kept in secret. I was happy because we could sleep in a local house for guests.

The mud frequently blocked the motorbike wheels so we had to take out the wheel often to clean it
The next day we made it to the bridge, crossed the river and the same day came to Masasi. The difference between Tanzania and Mozambic is felt in every aspect. The roads in Mozambique are more rough, the distances bigger. The people are
Finally coming to the Unity Bridge, the first bridge on the Ruvuma river. It was opened in May 2010. It connects the Northern Mozambic with south Tanzania
more closed. But also the Mozambic history is seen everywhere.

The history was very bloody with protracted wars. These wars produced a lot of heroes, something what isn’t visible in Tanzania. In almost every village, there is some monument to the heroes. Usually it is a small wooden and painted sculpture of the first president Machel Samora. In fact it is difficult not to think about the small painted Lilanga sculptures when seeing such similar heroes sculptures in the Mozambican villages.

The British journalist Iain Christie interviewing Samora Machel who became the first president of Mozambique, at a FPLM blackwood cooperative in Cabo Delgado, 1973. Source: Sidney Littlefield Kasfir and Till Förster, African Art and Agency in the Workshop
As far as I know, not only me got fascinated by these wooden painted sculptures, other tourists noticed them as well. For example look at the travel blog moonspaghetti.
Matias Ntundo is another recognized Makonde artist from Nandimba, the birthplace of George Lilanga. It is almost a sensation that such a small village "produced" two Makonde carvers who ventured into visual arts in eighties. Ntundo started to create wood prints and George Lilanga the enamel paints. The photo: Hans-Georg Gaul, Courtesy: Kunstverein für Mecklenburg & Vorpommern in Schwerin Exhibition in the public space of Schwerin, Germany Title of the Exhibition: MADGERMANES / Mystery Of Foreign Affairs
Without doubt this is the work of the many artists' cooperatives from the Mueda Plateau. So at least we know that George Lilanga wasn’t the only Makonde carver who painted his sculptures.

The village Nandimba may keep the key to understanding of Lilanga art. The Lilanga spirits come from Nandimba. I have seen them in a storage room myself - very similar sculptures to Lilanga’s spirits. And I have seen the painted sculptures in the same storage room. And there was the extended Lilanga family. Some of the Lilanga family members were even still carving in Nandimba.

 Lastly, let us come back to Matias Ntundu. He was also born in the small village Nandimba, like George Lilanga. They are two artists with different life stories but with many parallels. Lilanga escaped from Nandimba while Ntundu stayed during the war. Lilanga didn’t join the FRELIMO Liberaton struggle while Ntundu supported it. Lilanga didn't engage on political art whilde Ntundo did. However both artists evolved their art into other techniques other than carving. Both artists explored the visual art. Both artists wrote stories. Both artists made exhibition abroad.

So the big question is – how such a small village like Nandimba can be home to such internationally recognized and creative artists and tens of sculptors?


Solo/Duo Exhibition

2012 - George Lilanga: Inside...Africa...Outside, Hamburg Art Week/Hamburg Mawingu Collection (HMC), Germany
2007 - George Lilanga & D. B. K. Msagula in Moderne Kunst aus Afrika, Galerie Exler, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
2004 - Tingatinga and Lilanga - Kouchi Prefecture Art Museum, Kouchi, Japan
2003 - Lilanga d'ici et d'ailleurs - Centre Culturel François Mitterrand, Périgueux, France
          - George Lilanga - Christa's Fine Tribal Art Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
2002 - Georges Lilanga, MAMCO, Geneva, Switzerland
1999 - Georges Lilanga : Storie Africane - Franco Cancelliere Arte Contemporanea, Messina, Italy
          - Fabbrica Eos, Milan, Italy
1995 – Lilanga, Artist in Residence and Workshop, Hiroshima City Modern Art Museum, Hiroshima, Japan
1994 - Lilanga's Cosmos - Okariya Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Group Exhibition
2011 - Afrikas Moderne im Spiegel der Generationen, Haus der Völker, Schwaz, Austria
           - Grenzenlos - Bilder, Skulpturen, Installationen, Kunstverein Aalen im Alten Rathaus, Aalen, Germany
2010 - Why Africa? Contemporary African Art, La Colezzione Pigozzi, Lingotto – Giomi and Marella Angeli picture gallery, Turin
          - African Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection, CAAC Art, Geneva
2009 - Africa - Una nova storia, Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome
          - Die Hand ist das Werkzeug der Seele, Stadtgalerie Ahlen, Königstraße 7, Germany
2008 - Africa Select III, ARTCO Gallery, Herzogenrath, Germany
          - Africa Remix, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2006 - Außereuropäische Kunst, Galerie Exler, Frankfurt/M., Deutschland
          - Africa Remix - Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
          - 100 % Africa. Works from the Pigozzi Collection", curator André Magnin, Guggenheim, Bilbao, Spain
2005 - Africa Remix - Hayward Gallery, London, England
          - Arts of Africa - Grimaldi Forum, Monaco
          - African Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection, Museum of Fine Art Houston, Houston, USA
          - Africa Remix - Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
2004 - Andere Moderne Afrikas. Kunst aus den Sammlungen des Linden- Museums Stuttgart. Zum Gedächtnis an Barbara Frank(1936-2004)",Linden-Museum Stuttgart
          - Africa Remix. Zeitgenössische Kunst eines Kontinents, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, Germany
2003 - Latitudes - Hôtel de Ville, Paris, France
2002 - "Mapico Dance" - MAMCO, Geneva, Switzerland -"Georges Lilanga" Galleria Spazia, Bologna, Italy
2000 - Shanghai Biennale 2000, Shanghai, China
          - Il ritorno dei Maghi - Palazzo de Sette, Orvieto, Italy
          - Casino di Malindi, Kenya - Deposito 6, Verona, Italy
1999 - African Contemporary Art - Lenz Gallery of Art, Pregassona, Italy - La Persia - Palazzo Carlotti, Verona, Italy
1998 - Goethe Institute, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
          - Dak'Art– Dakar 3nd Biennal, Dakar, Senegal
1997 - Gallery Watatu, Nairobi, Kenia
1996 - Dak'Art - Dakar 2nd Biennal, Dakar, Senegal
          - Pyramid Hotel, Fürth, Deutschland
          - Aufbruch. Moderne afrikanische Kunst. Die Sammlung Kleine-Gunk, Fürth, Germany
1995 - Keith Haring and Georges Lilanga: Animals and Spirits of Africa, Pantheon Tama Gallery, Tokyo and Mimoca Gallery, Marugane, Japan
          - Johannesburg 1st International Biennal, Johannesburg
1993 - La Grande Vérité, Les Astres Africains, Nantes Fine Art Museum, Nantes, France
1992 - Out of Africa - Saatchi & Saatchi Gallery, London
          - Tingatinga Art - Art Tower Mito, Tokyo, Japan
1991 - Jean Pigozzi contemporary African art collection at the Saatchi Collection, Saatchi Collection, London. 1989 - Arts & Crafts Center, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
1988 - Wanderausstellung: London - Glasgow
1986 - Arts & Crafts Center, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
1985 - Wanderausstellung: Sweden, Denmark,Norway, Finland
1984 -Internationale Sommer Akademie, Salzburg, Austria
1983 - National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
1981 - Internationale Sommer Akademie, Salzburg
1979 - National Museum, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
1978 - Maryknoll Ossining Centre, New York, IMF Hall, World Bank, Washington, US
1977 - Goethe Institute - Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
1976 - National Gallery of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana
1974 - National Museum, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


- Why Africa? Contemporary African Art, La Colezzione Pigozzi, Electa, Turin, 2010
- Magnin, André; Green, Alison de Lima; Wardlaw, Alvia J; McEvilley, Thomas, African Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection, Merrell Publishers, London, 2010
- Magnin, André (Hg.), 100 % Africa. Works from the Pigozzi Collection, Guggenheim, Bilbao, Spain
- Skira, Sarenco und Enrico Marcelloni von, George Lilanga: Africa Collection, 2006.
- Domino, Christophe: Magnin, André, L'art africain contemporain, Éditions Scala, Paris 2005
Farbabbildungen - Hamburg Mawingu Collection, George Lilanga. Ranci ya Maisha. Farben des Lebens. Colours of Life, Hamburg 2005. 185 S., 89,95 Euro
- Njami, Simon (Hg.), „Africa Remix", Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit 2004. Auflagen in französisch, englisch, japanisch
- Forkl, Hermann, „Andere Moderne Afrikas. Kunst aus den Sammlungen des Linden-Museums Stuttgart. Zum Gedächtnis an Barbara Frank (1936-2004)", Linden-Museum Stuttgart 2004. 199 S., Farbabbildungen, S. 189-199
- André Magnin, Jacques Soulillou, Contemporary Art of Africa, Harry N. Abrams, New York 1996
- „Aufbruch. Moderne afrikanische Kunst. Die Sammlung Kleine-Gunk", Werbegesellschaft Fürth, Fürth 1996

- Lilanga and Picasso
- A visit with George Lilanga
- Die Beerdigung von George Lilanga (Hamburg Mawingu Collection)

- Bernd Kleine-Gunk, Fürth
- Hamburg Mawingu Collection: George Lilanga Collection
- Kunst Transit Berlin
- Jean Pigozzi Collection
- Schaffner-Diawara Collection
- Sarenco and Enrico Marcelloni von Skira Collection
- Osei G Kofi Collection
- Marc van Rampelberg Collection
- Saatchi Collection