ISAAC OPOKU

“My work is primarily inspired by the deep sense of interconnectedness I feel with all life. This feeling moves me to explore and experiment with wide-ranging themes and mediums, in ways that echo the intimacy I feel with all that is…

I did not grow up always feeling this way though. I had been conditioned to believe I was a separate being from all else, as though I was in a never-ending competition with others. Having come to this felt realization of oneness, I make art that critiques who I once was and what I once believed. This critique of my own life through art, is often cloaked in the psychedelic and abstract twists I employ within my work. I do this to engender a sense of wonder in a viewer’s mind in order that s/he also comes to question her or his own reality and subsequently challenge certain conventional perspectives.

Though my subject matter tends to explore various relevant social themes such as politics, oppression, race and gender, it is also usually evocative of art as a form of experimentation, art as a form of meditation and art simply as being.”

Much like the Chinese concept of Chi, Àshe represents the spiritual life force that flows through all. And given that this body of work was birthed through what I call Flow – my meditative process of creating fluid lines in a slow, focused way, often with no predetermined goal in mind – I couldn’t help but feel that it was all Àshe incarnate. So in many ways, Àshe is Flow. Furthermore, the style draws from the essence of Afrikan alphabets and symbology, to create this Àshe inspired dynamic nexus of line movements, which symbolize the deep feeling of interconnectedness with all life; a feeling that is experienced when one is fully present, here and now. Elements of Adinkra, Bantu, Vai, Mende, Nsibidi, and several other Afrikan symbols and syllabaries are blended into many of the pieces in this style, with the intention of exposing them to a wider audience. The hope is to help educate viewers in some way about the depth, profundity, and expressive beauty of Afrika’s largely overlooked writing systems and our wrongly denigrated rich history.

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