Victor Ekpuk (b.1964) is a Washington DC based multi-media artist, whose work is primarily inspired by the “Nsibidi” writing systems from the southeastern part of Nigeria and incorporates other indigenous writing systems such as Aztec syllabic signs and Arabic calligraphy. Ekpuk is renowned for his large-scale, glyph-like paintings and drawings that explore the human condition, and draws upon a wide spectrum of meaning rooted in African and global contemporary art discourses.
The new body of work presented is a contemporary dialogue with African ancestral objects, recomposed, juxtaposed, and re imagined as portraiture. The artist chose these objects based on his cultural affiliation to them, the spiritual essence they exude, and the aesthetics of their forms. The works in this series continue Ekpuks's exploration of consciousness and memory. The portraits posit that memory informs individual and collective identities. Intrigued by the nature of self-knowledge as layers of memories that are ceaselessly transposed, appropriated, and imagined, Ekpuk believes our identities are the sum of our past and present memories informed by traditions and genetics.
The exhibition will open at TAFETA's Bloomsbury gallery, with a one week stint at Cromwell Place.