By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
Multi-dimensional murals by self-trained artist Nana Danso Awuah-Asante, which evoke African visual symbolism while effortlessly floating into the past, present and the future are on display at Gallery 1957 in Accra.
Works by Awuah-Asante (aka Artsoul Kojo), which unveil the history of Ghana employ diverse shapes and forms, which he effectively borrows from the known to the unknown while stretching our imagination.
Characterized by features of storytelling and abstract poetry combined with an impressionist and pop-art visual expressions, artworks on display interact and create a point of contact through esoteric and astral activities by the artist, who is constantly monitoring events and occurrences around him.
Employing cartoon-like characters some of which have exaggerated eyes, mummy-like figures, faces, boats, winding rivers, animals, totems and surreal landscapes inspired by Ghanaian history, he explores possible scenarios of the future that relate to failure and success.
With the use of cool colours, the artist bemoans the fact that rich Ghanaian history has been contaminated and the true nature of its history has not been told as he attempts to provide a true narrative through diverse techniques including simple shapes and forms.
Naïve strokes in black set against white backgrounds equally recall the simple yet complex ingenuities of human endeavor as Awuah-Asante outlines the dissimilar and inexhaustible probabilities of how one can observe and perceive the world.
Walking through the multidimensional murals, viewers will be surrounded by dreamlike paintings depicting history that may look alien but feel familiar – undeniably, visions of what Ghana is yet to be and how this dream can come into fruition.
Titled “History of Ghana”, the exhibition ends on Friday March 19, 2021.