The French Institute of Cotonou will host, in the coming days, the exhibition Empreintes du Béninois Hector SONON. Postponed to a date as yet unknown due to health restrictions related to the Covid-19, this exhibition is of particular interest to our editorial staff. We will tell you about it.

Hector Sonon: to make speak the prints of the past and the present

Through Empreintes, Hector SONON calls his audience to a deep reflection on the traces that each of us leaves during our passage on Earth. Whether they are positive or negative, they are there, indeed present; some more striking and deeper than others. Indelible, these imprints end up becoming, in a way, the reflections of our individual identities in our minds and memories.

The creations presented in this exhibition are inspired by major events, such as the attack on the editorial staff of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper on January 7, 2015, which left marks that are still vivid in the perception of our relationship with religion. On that day, religious radicalism tore out of the world talents whose only fault was to express themselves freely on the pages of a newspaper. A tragedy that particularly marked the artist; Hector Sonon being himself a press cartoonist.

The artist also draws his inspiration from the imprints left by the elements of nature. Very attached to his country, he notably materializes, in one of his works, the furrows dug durably by the runoff of water on the stones of the Atakora, the largest mountain range of Benin.

Hector Sonon, Sacred carpet, 2020
Mixed technique, mesh, coils and acrylic
120 cm x 110 cm

These various footprints, Hector SONON materializes them thanks to combinations of several materials, including wire, cotton or paint.

A committed journey

Hector Sonon’s career path is rich and diverse. It is in the written press that the artist took his first steps, as a cartoonist, within the “Gazette du Golfe”, one of the largest independent daily newspapers in Benin. At the age of only 17, and faced with the authoritarian and dictatorial regime of the time, which restricted all forms of freedom of expression, he was already a committed artist, a status that he did not claim.

In 1989, Hector Sonon launched “Zinsou and Sagbo”, the first Beninese comic book album. From 1993 to 1995, he stays in Togo where he supports his colleague Olivier Egloh in the face of numerous political pressures. In order to become more professional in his art, the artist joined the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels in 1997. A few years later, he became a resident of the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Visuels Saint Luc de Bruxelles, from which he graduated in 2014, diploma in hand.

In his artistic approach, Hector SONON is greatly inspired by the culture and rich heritage of his country, the cradle of Voodoo. He is also an informed observer who deciphers the facts, gestures and smells of his environment in order to tackle a wide variety of subjects through drawing, painting, sieves and his atypical Spring Rolls.

Stay tuned to ON ART MEDIA to be informed of the opening date of the EMPREINTES exhibition at the Institut Français de Cotonou.


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