Art@Site Jems Robert Koko Bi Diaspora Abidjan

Jems Robert Koko Bi



The stark power of these headless figures, their crowded condition in the precarity of that narrow pirogue . . . Jems Koko Bi studied history as well as art, and the work seems to reference histories of diaspora, of enslavement, of refugees (I thought immediately of Haude Bernabé’s trenchant meditation on the refugees drowned trying to get from Africa to Europe, Mare Nostrum — I wrote about that piece here and here.). But I’ve also read an artist statement in which the artist speaks of the positive aspects of migration, even when it comes at great cost, so I’ll be careful about making quick assumptions here.
Jems Robert Koko Bi: “Many, many people die, but they give you, they give us, the chance to be alive. This is why I celebrate migration, because somebody has taught me that migration is not only the movement of the body, but it’s also the movement of culture, so I adopt this positive perspective on migration to say, I live. I form part of this migration toor me, it means change. For me, it is the movement of people. For me, it is exodus.
I want to talk about exodus because I am an artist. I make forms. I don’t want to talk just about migration provoking war. I’ve been in migrations, so I have to show the best side of it. This is culture. This is a change. This is knowledge.”
A former student of the Institut National Supérieur des Arts, and the Action of Culture (Insaac) in Abidjan, he is in 1992 at the workshop of the artist, Klaus Simon (Abidjan), then in 1997 he won the Daad scholarship, a scholarship to study in Germany. He then studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf academy of art, prestigious, which has, among others, formed by Joseph Beuys. Both sculptor and performer, Jems Koko Bi influences from avant-garde to his story firmly in africa. In 2000, he joined a ‘master class’ with Klaus Rinke and received the prize of the biennale of Dakar.
In 2008, he received the prix de la Francophonie of the Bienn, with a work entitled Mandela, 27000 pieces of life's history.
Ancien étudiant de l’Institut National Supérieur des Arts et de l’Action Culture (Insaac) à Abidjan, il entre en 1992 à l’atelier de l’artiste Klaus Simon (Abidjan), puis en 1997 il remporte le DAAD scholarship, une bourse d’étude en Allemagne. Il part alors étudier à la Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, une académie d’art prestigieuse qui a, entre autres, formé Joseph Beuys. À la fois sculpteur et performeur, Jems Koko Bi mélange des influences avant-gardistes à son histoire résolument africaine. En 2000, il intègre une ‘’master class’’ avec Klaus Rinke et reçoit le prix de la biennale de Dakar.
En 2008, il reçoit le prix de la Francophonie de la Biennale de Dakar, avec une œuvre intitulée Mandela, 27000 pieces of life’s history.
Jems Robert Koko Bi, is a sculptor, artist from installatiebouwer, and as a performer. He currently lives and works in Essen, gt the Academy of Arts, after receiving a scholarship would have won and Germany went on. Previously, he has been a student of Spanish history at the National Higher Institute of the Arts and Culture to Action, based in Abidjan (côte d'ivoire).
Due to the Bi was to a large extent, influenced by the 80's – an era in which global capitalism, political upheaval, and the global mass media, the tone is set.
In Uganda, he had, in 1996, and his first exhibition. The wood has been, by far, his favorite material, in that it cuts and it burns. His work is figurative, but it is also abstract and conceptual in nature. In his own words, he makes no effort to change the world, and he takes a stand against human history, but take the lessons learned from it to help us, to the heart. He accepted the place where he was staying.
In 2008, he was with the work that is firmly of events in the Party raised money for the victims. His images are imbued with the audience of their humanistic message. This went beyond thevel of anecdote. It's not just about the people in Darfur, but, more generally, to all the victims of indiscriminate violence.
Artzuid was for two years (2013 and 2019) Due to ac's more than 27,000 pieces of the life and history. It is a tribute to former president Nelson Mandela, in the form of a wooden head, four feet in diameter and seven feet tall.
Due to Bi-so there's been a lot of different parts of the world are shown: France, Germany, Cuba, Senegal to France.
Jems Robert Koko Bi is beeldhouwer, tekenaar, installatiebouwer en performer. Hij woont en werkt in het Duitse Essen. In Düsseldorf studeerde hij aan de Academy of Arts, nadat hij een beurs had gewonnen en naar Duitsland toog. Daarvoor studeerde hij Spaanse geschiedenis aan het National Higher Institute of Arts and Culture Action in Abidjan (Ivoorkust).
Koko Bi werd grotendeels beïnvloed door de jaren 80 – een tijdperk waarin mondiaal kapitalisme, politieke onrust en wereldwijde massamedia de toon zetten> In Abidjan had hij in 1996 zijn eerste tentoonstellingen. Hout is veruit zijn favoriete materiaal, dat hij zaagt en verbrandt. Zijn werk is figuratief, maar ook abstract en conceptueel van aard. Naar eigen zeggen maakt hij geen werk om de wereld te veranderen, hij verzet zich ook niet tegen de geschiedenis, maar neemt de lessen die daaruit te trekken vallen, ter harte. Hij accepteert de plek waar hij verblijft.
In 2008 viel hij op met werk dat resoluut evenementen in Darfur aanklaagt. Zijn beelden doordrongen de toeschouwers van hun humanistische boodschap. Daarmee ontsteeg het beeld het niveau van de anekdotiek. Het gaat niet alleen om de slachtoffers in Darfur, maar meer algemeen om alle slachtoffers van blind geweld.
Artzuid toonde in twee edities (2013 en 2019) Koko Bi’s Mandela 27.000 pieces of life history. Het is een eerbetoon aan Nelson Mandela in de vorm van een houten hoofd van vier meter doorsnee en zeven meter hoog.
Koko Bi’s werken werden op veel verschillende plaatsen ter werel�xposeerd: van Frankrijk en Duitsland tot Cuba, van Senegal tot Canada.
Because space and history, while in conflict, are integral parts of the artists self, he has infused both in his works in wood, a medium which, Jems Robert Koko Bi explains, frees the spirit, makes it possible to play with multiple forms that highlight both plenitude and emptiness, the positive and the negative, contrasts which, in turn, give rise to countless new potential avenues for thought.
Graduated from the Kunstakademie of D�sseldorf after having studied at the INSAAC in Abidjan, Jems Robert Koko Bi is nowadays a major figure of contemporary art in Ivory Coast and around the world. Both a sculptor and a performer, he enriched his technique as well as his aesthetics throughout his schooling, from the studio of Klaus Simon in Abidjan, that he joins in 1992, to the teachings of Klaus Rinke that he followed during his stay in Germany, which became his host country in 1997.
The particularity of the way he shapes the wood, creating shapes at times figurative at times abstract, carving it with a knife, a chainsaw or fire, earned him to be selected to numerous international art events. In 2000, he receives for instance the price of the Dakar Biennal, of which he will also be a part in 2008 (with his work Darfur), in 2016 (he presents Racines, in the exhibition Contours) and in 2018 (with the installation Retour). His work has also been presented during the Havana Biennal in 2003, at the Documenta of Kassel in 2012 and at the Venice Biennal, within the Ivorian pavilion in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
He was born in 1966, in Sifra, Ivory Coast. He studied Spanish History between 1986 and 1988 in University of Abidjan. Between 1988 and 1995 he studied at Institut National Supérieur des Arts et de l'Action Culturelle (Insaac) in Abidjan. In 1997 he won the Daad scholarship and moved to Germany where he studied at Kunstakademie Düsseldorfith Klaus Rinke.
Jems Robert Koko Bi uses wood as the medium in his sculptures. His production also includes performances.
Listed below are major African artists who have impacted the world of sculpture... many are still practicing today having had long, celebrated and illustrious careers. Edoardo Villa, SA (1915-2011)
Ben Enwonwu, Nigeria, (1917 - 1994)
Stella Shawzin, SA (1920 - 2020)
Ibrahim El Salahi, Sudan b 1930
Sydney Kumalo, SA (1935 - 1988)
Francis Nnnggenda, Uganda, b 1936
Arthur Azvedo, Zimbabwe b 1935
Ousmane Sow, Senegal (1935 - 2016)
Percy Konqobe, SA b 1939
Sunday Jack Akpan, Nigeria b 1940
El Anatsui, Ghana b 1944
Elkana Ongesa, Kenya b 1944
Wilma Cruise, SA b 1945
Norman Catherine, SA b 1949
Anton Momberg, b 1951
Anton Smit, SA b 1954
William Kentridge, SA b 1955
Willie Bester, SA b 1956
Tapfuma Gutsa, Zimbabwe b 1956
Deborah Bell, SA b 1957
Sokhari Douglas Camp, Nigeria b 1958
Guy Pierre du Toit, Sa b 1958
Speelman Makose Mahlangu, SA (1958 - 2004)
Olu Amoda, Nigeria b 1959
Brett Murray, SA b 1961
Jems Koko Bi, Cote D'Ivoire b 1966
Adeola Balogun, Nigeria b 1966
Angus Taylor, SA b 1970
Marco Ciafenelli, SA b 1970
Wangechi Mutu, Kenya b 1972
Claudette Schreuders, SA b 1973
Sanell Aggenbach, SA b 1975
Peju Alatise, Nigeria b 1975
Michelle Mathison, SA/Zimbabwe b 1977
Niyi Olagunju, Nigeria b 1981
Dylan Lewis, SA b 1982
Mary Sibande, SA b 1982
Lionel Smit, SA b 1982
Nandipha Mntambo, Swaziland b 1982