DADA AWURU 2 by Yusuff Aina Abogunde
DADA AWURU 2 by Yusuff Aina Abogunde, from the Series – Eniyan, 2019, Charcoal and Acrylic on Paper
Sizes – 41 x 56 cm ( 16 x22 inches )
In our world today being a DADA has its perks on the carrier. Most times it becomes quite a burden especially to the one who refuses to follow various suggestions of removing or straightening the locks. An emotional wheel of compliments and insults. As a “DADA” in Nigeria, you have to deal with being castigated by your own people, being loved and revered by just a few who are not even your family. Traditionally you are diabolical and evil. Even the authorities in our society hasn’t curtailed their stereotypical opinion that people with locks both natural and artificial are the misfits. Now the joy of being a DADA is the love the western world show for your locks, their curiosity makes them want to have a feel of your hair whenever you are within arms length. Being comfortable with my hair has been a life-long journey and I have crossed so many hurdles just to fully accept my identity as a person with a special kind of hair that stands out everywhere I go.
Yusuff Aina Abogunde is a Nigerian multidisciplinary artist based in Lagos. He was born in 1997 in Aguda, Surulere, a residential and commercial area of Lagos, Nigeria. Growing up in Surulere, art has always been part of Yusuff’s life and he draws inspiration from the stories and life experiences of the people surrounding him. His desire to express his people’s experiences as well as his through art pushed him to develop his self-taught style and a desire to perfect his art pushed him to study Fine and Applied Arts Education at the Federal College of Education (T) of Akoka in Lagos. He uses a self-taught medium called “Ainaism”,derived from “Aina”, a Yoruba name given to a child born with the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck. It is a technique of creative lines, patterns and symbols inspired by his Yoruba culture that depict a journey, obstacles, hope, struggles and freedom which he expresses through paint, ink, charcoal and colors on any possible surface. In these series, he often associates Ainaism with an “Eniyan” mask, a medium he uses as a representation of identity. In Yoruba, Eniyan is a term used to describe a human, a person or a being. This medium is also used in his sculptures as a way to give human forms, especially Black bodies a shape, where every crack becomes a voice that resonates within each Black person. As an artist, Yusuff wants his work to transcend two-dimensional expressions, to become an experience for people far beyond what is seen as it is not just a display, but an interaction. Through this exhibition, we hope that each person who encounters Yusuff’s work, whether Nigerian or not, Black or non-Black, will converse with themselves, challenge their beliefs, reflect on the state of humanity and the meaning of unity. It’s an art of encouragement and motivation for men to stay focused and humble. His work is about Pan-Africanism, Black Power, sociopolitical issues and unveil human struggles with identity, isolation and survival of people in the world. He has participated in several exhibitions in Nigeria, and collaborated with multiple Nigerian firms and individuals on private and public projects and decided to market his work internationally believing more people abroad will connect with his vision as he keeps creating from his studio in Yaba, Lagos
1 in stock