Contemporary visual artist Ishola AKPO is pleased to announce his new series of works “LÉEDI”. Until November 18, 2023, the Fondation Donwahi will be delighted to present this new exhibition by the artist, which will mark the highlight of the Ivorian artistic season in 2023 – 2024.
Born in 1983 in Ivory Coast, Ishola Akpo is a visual artist and photographer from Benin who explores the diverse possibilities offered by digital technology, combining his artistic practice with notions of modernity and tradition. Experimenting with different levels of reading to construct plural metaphors, his art transcends the boundaries between reality and fiction, fixed identities and multiple identities, to offer a powerful visual rendering of the past and the future.
Her exhibition “LÉEDI” represents the fruit of her research and creative residency at the Fondation Donwahi. The title of the exhibition means “Earth” in the Peuhl language, and fully expresses the artist’s intention. Indeed, in this artistic presentation, Ishola Akpo pays a singular tribute to the land of her birth, the Ivorian soil that brought her into this physical world. The artist’s new series of works is thus seen as a thank-you to the land of her birth.
Ishola Akpo‘s creative residency at the Fondation Donwahi in 2023 appears to have been an artistic retreat that enabled him to explore and analyze all the tenants of his exhibition. He explored the essential notions of heritage, identity and territory, through archives, letters and diaries, all referring to his childhood in Ivory Coast. This in-depth research into his past is perfectly perceptible in his works, bearing witness to his initiative to reconnect and reconcile with his roots and his plural identity.
Going beyond his personal research, Ishola Akpo‘s photographs and installations invite the viewer to reflect deeply on notions of belonging and territory. Through his works, he introduces us to his roots, then offers us a moving account of his history and, in juxtaposition, our own.
A major artist on the African continent, Ishola Akpo‘s work is part of many important collections around the world, including the Quai Branly Museum, the Fondation Kadist and the Fondation Zinsou, among others. The contemporary artist is also one of the four artists selected to represent the Beninese pavilion at the forthcoming Venice Biennale 2024.
For the Fondation Donwahi, it is a real pleasure to be able to present this exclusive exhibition by contemporary African artist Ishola Akpo in their art space. A symbolic artistic presentation whose nature corresponds perfectly to the philosophy of the late Charles B. Donwahi’s philosophy: “Advance into modernity without losing the memory of our roots“.