ART DUBAI 2014
MARCH 18-22, 2014
Omenka Gallery will be represented at the 8th edition of Art Dubai, by some of the most recent works of contemporary African artists: Owusu-Ankomah, Nnenna Okore, Tchif and Adejoke Tugbiyele. Art Dubai is one of the most important contemporary art fairs in the MENASA region and is expected to attract over 25,000 visitors–including 70 international museum groups–having hosted 85 galleries from 34 countries, and over 500 artists and contributors. Art Dubai runs from March 19-22, 2014 at Madinat Jumeriah.
Matter as Metaphor, Omenka’s presentation at the fair, brings together for the first time artworks by Owusu-Ankomah, Nnenna Okore, Tchif and Adejoke Tugbiyele, and takes as a starting point, artists that have an open approach to form and/or media in the use of everyday objects, discarded materials or even mixed-techniques that either ignore or merge traditional studio-based materials with the unconventional. Materials charged with strong socio-political significance in the context of African contemporary society as well in our global arena, are used as an excuse to discuss some issues that somehow affect our daily lives, including the current global struggles connected with health, reprocessing or consumerism.
Prelude to the Microcron by Owusu-Ankomah depicts bold and naked figures, censored by a layer of complex signs, which in a manner renders them almost invisible and inside of a deeply symbolic system.
On the other hand, Tchif’s personal, metaphoric vocabulary of symbols serves as mediators between man and the universe and may be understood as his quest for empirical truth, where each work captures an intimate cosmogony expressing the essence of a continent laden with mysteries and deep symbolism. He deals with a distinct range of media and techniques including computer-generated graphics, however, his key interest lies in surface textures and the materiality of the medium.
Textures, forms and colours of organic materials such as clay and wax, or discarded materials like newspaper or rope, inspire Nnenna Okore’s installations, which engage directly with the cultures of consumption and recycling in Nigeria. In contrast to Tchif who depends largely on synthesizing, Okore aims to re-connect her materials to nature. Therefore, her technique involves a strong element of deconstruction, by fraying or ripping to generate forms that reveal layers of memories.
Adejoke Tugbiyele is another artist that also appropriates discarded materials that have a strong connection with African society. Through them, she exposes socio-political issues that are deeply associated with Nigeria’s history and that are interconnected with the impact of globalization. The project Moskito Ministry is a metaphor for man’s thirst for materialism where the service provided by these blood-sucking pests is to transmit extremely harmful human and livestock diseases such as malaria or yellow fever. Tugbiyele speaks out against the greed and excesses of power by several corrupt leaders and politicians, who in servitude line their pockets and leave in their wake, impoverished masses.
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High-resolution images and more information on the artists are available on request.