Arts + Culture

Beninese Artist Meschac Gaba Transforms Holland's Architecture Into Towering Colorful Wigs

Gaba’s artwork previously exhibited at The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY, Cape Town, London and Paris.

Zam Magazine uncovered conceptual artist’s Meschac Gaba series of 13 wig towers, which opened the Afrika 010 exhibition in the Wereldmuseum (World Museum) of Rotterdam, South Holland in April.


The Beninese artist, who first burst onto the international art scene with his nomadic project The Museum of Contemporary African Art (1997–2002) consisting of 12 rooms including the wedding room where he was married in 2000, looks to recreate iconic architecture from the Dutch harbor city as towering wigs. Produced by tresseuses in the capital of Cotonou, the portische take on the form of the 33-floor World Port Center, observation tower Euromast and the tallest building in the Netherlands, the Maastoren (just to name a few).

Having been the former director of the Wereldmuseum just a couple of years ago, Gaba contemplated putting his wigs up for sale, but thankfully, they have been given a second life, and are a welcome addition to the African artifacts such as statues and masks also on display as part of the Afrika 010 exhibition.

Not one to shy away from themes of globalization, consumerism, and other Western cultural conventions, Gaba's artwork has been previously exhibited at The Studio Museum in Harlem, Cape Town, London and Paris.

If you find yourself in the Netherlands between now and January 8, 2017, be sure to set your sights on Gaba’s multicolored, sky-scraping hairpieces. In the meantime, see highlights below.

Meschac Gaba, De Markthal, synthetic hair, metal and textile, 2016. Photo: Krijn van Noordwijk

Meschac Gaba, Laurenskerk, synthetic hair, metal and textile, 2016. Photo: Krijn van Noordwijk

Meschac Gaba, De Rotterdam, synthetic hair, metal and textile, 2016. Photo: Krijn van Noordwijk

Meschac Gaba, SS Rotterdam, synthetic hair, metal and textile, 2016. Photo: Krijn van Noordwijk

Meschac Gaba, De Markthal, synthetic hair, metal and textile, 2016. Photo: Krijn van Noordwijk

Meschac Gaba, Maastoren, synthetic hair, metal and textile, 2016. Photo: Krijn van Noordwijk

Popular
Image courtesy of Chude Jideonwo

Nigerian Mental Health Advocate Chude Jideonwo Shares Practical Ways Of Coping During COVID

We speak with the founder of Joy Inc. about the mental health challenges facing Nigerians, how many have managed to find effective ways to cope, and the online resources available to the community.

Never in our lifetimes have we experienced a pandemic of this gravity. As COVID-19 cases rise in Nigeria, Nigerians aren't just worried about getting the virus, they are also concerned about a host of other challenges: our lack of efficient and effective healthcare—which is overwhelmed even without a pandemic—the lack of appropriate data, and the high levels of poverty and illiteracy in the country that make it difficult to enforce the strategies that will enable us to handle the pandemic and keep it under control.

In a bid to understand how Nigerians are dealing with mental health challenges now, on the ground, due to the pandemic—which has led to a lockdown restricting movement and also social distancing rules—we spoke with Nigerian journalist, lawyer and mental healthcare advocate Chude Jideonwo, who is the founder of Joy Inc. He shared insights from his experiences with The Joy Inc., which he founded in 2016 to help young people going through mental and emotional challenges. He aimed to help provide young Nigerians with tools to help navigate the world around them.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

'This Is One Too Many'—African Union Condemns the Murder of George Floyd

"The African Union is distressed to witness yet another unwarranted execution of another African-American male."