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“The artist’s role is to raise consciousness of the people. To make them understand life, the world and themselves more completely. That’s how I see it. Otherwise, I don’t know why you do it.”
Amiri Baraka

welcome to under ground contemporary art

UNDER GROUND is a contemporary art space based in Uganda. The project space has collaborated on projects in Uganda and away from home (South Africa, Kenya, Angola and Ghana). When we began in June 2015, we majorly offered exhibition programs and professional support to artists.  We provided free exhibition space for experimental artists; time-based media and ephemeral works.

Curatorially, we have been preoccupied with artistic production before artworks are in exhibition spaces. This has in a way gradually shifted our perspective on what a “space” can be. Beyond the sense of being stationed in one physical place. So we started going out into places where artists produce and to consider other public or private spaces where art can be exhibited and experienced.

Active programs:

Studio Crit Format

UG currently relies on mobility for its fluidity and flexibility: On movement between places and people. We still recognize the importance of physical art spaces and its potential together with organizing and mobilizing and networking.

Here we focus on the studio visits as a point of engagement, the process of making being crucial and as intensely engaging. We give space for critical exploration through supporting research.

Pop-up Exhibitions

Our exhibition projects will be more site specific to artists. We are also exploring different formats of exhibiting like; book publications projects.

Travel Somewhere Nice

Cultural practitioners every year embark on research excursions anywhere to Africa. The trips are aimed at engaging, networking and initiating collaborations with exemplary art discourses on the continent. 2021 will be our first! A group of Ugandans will for 14 days visit Accra, Cape-Coast, Kumasi and Tamale in Ghana in July

At Least Two Lineages Down

This project started in 2015 to facilitate dialogue between younger artists and their older counterparts. The format makes possible studio visits, documentation and digitized the artists’ works and old exhibition catalogues. Today the art space holds archives on Ntensibe Joseph, Muwonge Kyazze and Musoke Theresa, Buluma O. Mordecai, Elimo Njau, Nnaggenda X. Francis. The project affronts the important task to care for; in the form of sharing the artistic legacy of one of Uganda’s and the region’s modernists and opens up a larger conversation about the country’s artistic heritage that so far has not been given sufficient attention in the art historical discourse.

Discover Our Activities

Visual Artist's

Kyakonye Allan
Nabukenya Hellen
Buluma O. Mordecai

Kyakonye holds a Bachelor degree in Industrial and Fine Arts from Makerere University.  In 2018, attended a residence at 32° East.

Hellen Nabukenya is a multifaceted visual artist whose work is inspired by the fashion world. She currently lives and works in Kampala.

Buluma’s career as a practicing artist, teacher and public servant spans six (6) decades. Known in Canada and USA for his colored silkscreen and woodcut prints and oil painting.

Book Your Studio Visit

Consultation Hours

Monday - Friday
10am -4pm


Conrad House


Mugerwa Nicholas mugerwa@undergroundcontemporary.org