KWAME ASANTE has a remarkable attention to detail that makes his tin installations spectacular. Kenyan Writer Binyanvanga Wainaina thought his art “provoked a relevant imagination for a future Ghana.”
Kwame Asante’s work probes the concept of “repetition” and “seriality” which he considers as art and an essential part of life. Kwame draws quite a bit from printmaking and jean baudrillards orders of simulacrum (the order of sorcery). According to Kwame, his installations of milk tins implicate revolutions in industrial and artistic production.
“They are planned through digital simulation models. My process is approached through mechanical engineering strategies. I appropriate the idea of bamboo curtains which can be found in local chop-bars across the country and the idea of tin cars which evokes the bricolage children’s toys that are popular in Ghana,” he states “The medium that I’ve been working with is milk tins because milk forms part of the daily breakfast ritual which a repetitive and serial process in our society.”
Just like many other conceptual artists whose work questions existing issues or problems, the teaching assistant at KNUST’s college of art says in his work he tries to question basic reality, originality and what it means to be authentic. African artists are buying into Ghanaian artist EL Anatsui’s approach of using readily available material resources to create art. Artist like Akirash, Ibrahim Mahama, Serge Attukwei Clottey, Cyrus Kabiru and many others are creating magnificent art and installations with materials like jute sacks, electronic waste, paper and jerry cans.
Kwame Asante is one of the new artists who will be putting up installations at the Chale Wote Street Art Festival this year.
He had this to say about this year’s theme:
African electronics is the energy that sparks the creativity in people to create new things. It is also a form of democracy that allows people to freely express themselves through their creation. It is our birth right… a fluid that moves and becomes a current. This current becomes energy both within and without; and this energy drives Africans to create and do the impossible. African Electronics is a form of liberation.
Written by Nana Osei-Kwadwo
All photos by Kwame Asante Agyare.