Dans le Djassa

10 May - 2 June 2018

LKB/G proudly presents the first solo exhibition by Ivorian artist Armand Boua (*1978) in Germany. Boua assimilates his impressions of the life of street children in West Africa which is characterised by violence and the aftermath of political struggles.

 

The consequences of the civil war which shook the country at the beginning of the 21st century can still be seen clearly today. These experiences form the starting point of Armand Boua's artistic confrontation with the trauma of a nation. The focus of his reflections are the thousands of children living on the streets of East Africa, separated from their parents and families as an effect of violence and political struggles. Like Boua, they're strolling through the streets of Abidjan, former capital of Cote d'Ivoire and still considered as the largest urban conglomeration of the country.

 

With a sensitive eye, the artist approaches the children, similar to an antinomy of their daily experiences. These are influenced instead by the memories of past intransigence and by real concerns about what to come. The children living on the streets are threatened by dangers like kidnapping, illegal adoption, enforced labour, sex trafficking and organ harvesting. Through his paintings, Boua succeeds to portrait the children no longer only as victims but rather as a new generation symbolizing innocence and hope. Boua finds the material for his work on the city's street - he collects items, builds them up with abstract painting. Over and over again he applies new layers of acrylic and tar on the pictorial ground, then he scrubs and strips them back. A technique evoking the creation of memories - the addition and the processing of impressions.

 

For his first exhibition at LKB/G, Boua created new scenes of street children's daily life - frequently referred as "les Shèguès". Besides learning their own social arrangements and survival strategies, they've also created their own language - le nouchi. The artist borrows his work titles from this slang.