Between “马丁” and “map”: Zambian artist Martin Abasi Phiri’s artistic practices and his experiences in China

Streaming Media


The Chinese in Africa / Africans in China Research Network Conference Organising Committee in collaboration with the Centre for Cultural Research and Development at the Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong; and the Institute for Emerging Markets Studies at HKUST.

Event Title

CAAC2021 9th Online Mini-symposium : Distances and Intimacies

Document Type





9:00 p.m.


Online Session via Zoom


Martin Abasi Phiri (1957-1977), also known as MAP and 马丁, is a late Zambian artist who studied at Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing from 1983 to 1988. Between his return from China in 1988 and his mournful decease in 1997, Martin made monumental contribution to the Zambian art scene with his art work and his effort to promote visual art. In spite of his significant artistic legacy, very little has been documented and written about the artist.Through Martin’s personal archives, relevant institutions’ documents and interviews with his former classmates, students and colleagues, this research explores Martin Phiri’s life and artistic experience in relation to his engagement with China. More specifically, this research explores Martin’s three roles as an artist, an art lecturer at Evelyn Hone College in Lusaka and the founder of the Zambian National Visual Arts Council (ZNVAC), and examines the way in which his practices were informed by his experiences in China. By doing so, this research fills the gap of documenting Martin Phiri’s work and brings out the hidden artistic network in the global south.



Additional Information


Lifang Zhang received her Master’s degree in 2017 at the Department of Asian and African Languages & Literatures at Peking University, and her Master's degree in Art History at the Fine Art Department at Rhodes University in 2019. She is currently a PhD student in Art History at Rhodes University and a member of the Arts of Africa and Global Souths research programme.

Recommended Citation

Zhang, L. (2022, January 21). Between “马丁” and “MAP”: Zambian artist Martin Abasi Phiri’s artistic practices and his experiences in China [Video podcast]. Retrieved from