The late Wasswa Katongole

Wasswa, as he became known, developed a bold and colorful adaptation of Lumu's fragmentation technique and later transformed his distinctive 'line and color-zone' style from water colors on paper to dyes on canvas. Wasswa is considered an early innovator of East African 'batik painting' originated by Ugandan artists in East Africa after the technically-different wax-resist dying technique arrived from Indonesia during the mid-1950s. The original Indonesian batik dying technique, denegrated as 'craft' by the fine artists of Makerere in the early 1960's, became visually and technically transformed into a legitimate fine art medium, 'water colors on canvas', by Ugandan artists such as Wasswa, who dramatically altered the medium by painting dark to light colors instead of dipping dyes in the order from light to dark. Noted Ugandan artists such as the late Henry Lumu, David Kibuuka, Mugalula Mukiibi, Dan Sekanwagi, Nuwa Nnyanzi, and others, further refined this unique medium until it became virtually indistinguishable in detail and complexity from other fine art mediums such as water colors and acrylics. Wasswa helped the new art form take hold in the Nairobi art scene during the late 1960s through 1980s.