Oyinkan Dada ART
Photo By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

Oyinkan Dada, the owner of Dada Gallery in Nigeria, at ART X Lagos 2022.

ART X Lagos 2022 showcased the work of over 120 artists represented by over 31 galleries across the globe.

The annual ART X Lagos fair is West Africa’s most exciting weekend of art and music. This year marked the art fair’s seventh edition, returning to the Federal Palace Hotel at Victoria Island, Lagos, with a three-day superlative schedule from November 4th to 6th.

The fair showcased the work of over 120 artists represented by over 31 galleries across the globe. The most impressive highlights from this year’s ART X Live were some of the curated projects. Bayo Hassan Bello, a writer and researcher, was a first-timer curator for the fair, presenting some of the most exiting work of the weekend, from Ranti Bami’s presentation to Victor Ehikhamenor's installation. Bello also worked on Linda Dounia's digital commission and the multimedia commission of five other African artists titled “Art Across Borders.

“In recent years, my practices as a curator and research-based artist have focused more on time-based works like video, sound, performance, digital, and installations," Bello said. "While time-based art is not seen as being inherently commercial here in Africa, it is an incredibly lucrative space to be in. I find it more inclusive than traditional arts and I believe it reflects better African modes of thinking, making, and engaging with art."

From Bello's curated works to the performances, here are the highlights from the 2022 ART X Lagos fair.

​Ranti Bami’s Presentation

Ranti Bami  Sowing Seeds into Heartland,\u201d

Titled “Sowing Seeds into Heartland,” Ranti Bami and a group of women built clay vessels covered with soil and seeds.

Photo By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

Known for her distinct work with clay, Nigerian artist Ranti Bami staged an interactive art performance during opening night. Titled “Sowing Seeds into Heartland,” Bami and a group of women built clay vessels covered with soil and seeds. The performance served as a symbolic connection between Ranti’s art medium, clay, and the human body.

Victor Ehikhamenor’s Exhibition

Victor Ehikhamenor presented an installation tagged “ULIN-NÓIFO, THE LINEAGE THAT NEVER ENDS.”

Photo By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

Renowned Nigerian artist Victor Ehikhamenor presented an installation tagged “ULIN-NÓIFO, THE LINEAGE THAT NEVER ENDS.” For the pieces, the artist mainly used beads and rosaries to depict the traditional rulers of the Bini people from Edo State. The colors in this installation were red and white, which was highly influenced by Bini's tradition and culture; the other predominant color was black, which he used in highlighting the faces of the traditional rulers while also representing the symbolic meaning of being a Black person.

The other essential components of the installation included sound; a dirge was used to evoke the pieces on display even better. And away from the depiction of the traditional rulers, Victor used bronze to portray a hatching egg staged at the entrance of his exhibiting booth. Throughout the three days of the fair, art lovers trooped in and out of Victor’s booth, immersing themselves in the motifs of the artist’s installation against an all-red picturesque background.

The ART X Live Musical Performances

The ART X Live performance continues to be one of the best highlights from the yearly fair, and it didn’t fall short this year.

Photo By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

Performances featuring a wide range of under-the-radar artists has become a major attraction at ART X Lagos. For this year’s lineup, there was stellar performances from Nigerian-UK artist Obongjayar; South African DJ DBN GOGO; Afro-reggae singer Winny; and Afrobeats musician YKB.

During the performance, the visual graphic work of Daberechi and Fahd Bello was displayed in the background creating a kaleidoscopic and radiant backdrop.The ART X Live performance continues to be one of the best highlights from the yearly fair, and it didn’t fall short this year.

​Anne Adams Presentation

Photo By Adedamola Odetara for OkayAfrica

Cameroonian ceramist Anne Adams presented an installation titled "Ruwa Ya zo," which translates into "Water Has Come." The piece depicts a young schoolgirl leaning on a wheelbarrow containing water kegs, shifting away from her well-known medium of ceramic and clay.

This new installation sees Anne mixing mediums like metal, fiberglass, wood, and plastic while emphasizing how clean water remains a key problem in some African communities. Adam’s installation mirrors what life looks like for people living on the mainland of Lagos, where access to clean water is an issue. In reality, these water kegs are filled at a location where clean water is accessible but limited. Then they are moved to people’s households in the wheelbarrow where they are needed.

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