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Top Highlight of 1-54’s Coalescent Lights Exhibition at Christie's Hong Kong



From March 26 to March 30, 2024, Christie's Hong Kong hosted Coalescent Lights, a contemporary African art exhibition curated by Kami Gahiga, 1-54's head of VIP and gallery relations.


Coalescent Lights marked the third installment of the 1-54 Presents exhibition series and served as its inaugural showcase in Asia. It drew upon conceptual threads spanning multiple artistic generations, offering a critical exploration of 1-54's commitment to expanding the discourse on contemporary African art.

Ouattara Watts, Intercessor #5, 2022, Mixed media on canvas, 122 x 122 cm. Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Dakar, Paris)
Ouattara Watts, Intercessor #5, 2022, Mixed media on canvas, 122 x 122 cm. Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Dakar, Paris)

Culling its inspiration from French-Cameroonian curator Simon Njami's advocation for a comprehensive view of the art industry, the exhibition aimed to promote the transdisciplinary and multidimensional nature of African art. It brought together 27 African artists, including veteran figures like Zanele Muholi, Wura Natasha-Ogunji, Zanele Muholi and Ibrahim Mahama, all of whom had previously exhibited their works at 1-54 Contemporary Art Fair. 


The exhibition encompassed five overarching themes: tradition, spirituality, ancient knowledge, and their relationship with personal and cultural memories; intimacy and the body; the environment and material boundaries; migration; and representation and visibility of different artistic mediums. These themes aimed to convey contemporary African art beyond the edges of conventional categories that currently dominate the market. The exhibition also featured a talk program organized in collaboration with Christie's Education.


Notable works on display included Ibrahim Mahama's "Untitled," created in 2018, which consisted of traditional clothes on dyed jute sacks and coal sacks with markings. Tariku Shiferaw's "Bantu Migration," an acrylic on canvas piece from 2024, and Barthélémy Toguo's "Human Spring 11," a mixed media work on paper from 2023, were also showcased. Sanaa Gateja's "Golden Tortoise," produced in 2018 using paper, acrylic, natural dyes, and stitching on bark cloth, added to the diverse collection.


Other featured artworks comprised Tesfaye Urgessa's "No Country For Young Men," an oil on canvas piece from 2022; Wura-Natasha Ogunji's "Let the River Take Us," created in 2022 using thread, ink, and graphite on tracing paper; Zanele Muholi's "Jula I, Wild Coast," a baryta print from 2020; and Ouattara Watts's "Intercessor #5," a mixed media work on canvas dating back to 2022.


The exhibition showcased the talents of other artists, including Omar Ba, Ibrahim El-Salahi, Barthélémy Toguo, Virginia Chihota, Joël Andrianomearisoa, Tadesse Mesfin, Youssef Nabil, Abdoulaye Konaté, Dalila Dalléas Bouzar, Aboudia, Seydou Keïta, Baya, Cheikh Ndiaye, Edson Chagas, Prince Gyasi, Samuel Nnorom, Cornelius Annor, Moffat Takadiwa, Serge Attukwei Clottey, and Joana Choumali.


Barthélémy Toguo, Human Spring 11, 2023, Mixed media on paper, 100 x 100 cm. Courtesy of Artist and HdM Gallery
Barthélémy Toguo, Human Spring 11, 2023, Mixed media on paper, 100 x 100 cm. Courtesy of Artist and HdM Gallery

Curated By Kami Gahiga at Christie's Hong Kong

22/F Alexandra House, 18 Chater Rd, Central, Hong Kong

 


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