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Friday, October 30, 2015

Arts: Africa, Europe, Asia meet in Abuja

In spite of the difference in our humanity, and peoples of the world, there is no doubt that art speaks universal language, appeals to all humanity and irrespective of source; serves as a catalyst for unity among people of different races and cultural background.
Many countries around the globe have begun to realize the importance of promoting unity in the world through art works as showcased in the third edition
of art of friendship exhibition which was adjudged by art even critics as grand with the convergence of Africa, Europe, Asia in Abuja the Federal Capital Territory of the most populous nation in the continent of Africa to celebrate this year’s edition in a grand style.
Art of Friendship exhibition was purely anchored on the unity of thematic content of the artists, with a keen interest on the stylistic, cultural and symbolic diversity of the art works.
Initiated in 2012 as a platform for Nigerian artists to cross-fertilize ideas with their counterparts around the world, the exhibition is now growing from strengths to strengths and living up to its billings as the melting point of cross cultural art as platter of rich art work from Nigeria, China, Germany, Czech Republic and Republic of South Korea met at Abuja’s International Conference Center (ICC).
Also, the beauty and aesthetic appeal of the works on display in this edition was seen in the strength of cultural diversity; the variety of the media in which the art pieces were executed and the dexterousness of the artists. This year’s edition featured over 85 works of art, comprising paintings, mixed-media, drawing, sculpture and printmaking from the five participating countries.
The exhibition opened with works of art from Nigeria. The art works, which were taken from a collection of National art and gallery, featured the works of some of Nigeria’s prolific and renowned artist whose works are in public and private collections in Nigeria and beyond.
The works on display were aesthetically executed in a variety of media from print, oil, pastel, acrylic and charcoal on canvas, paper and board, mixed media, plastocast, fibre glass to metal and wood sculptures. The art works exhibited are a micro-representation of the trajectory of Nigeria art. Master strokes of brush, chisel and knife of veteran Nigerian artists were showcased alongside those of the younger generations whose works have matched the dexterity of modern artists in the world.
They presented themes that deal with the vagaries of everyday life politics, culture, mythology and history. The highlight of the event was China’s appearance on the show which marked their first participation in the art event with twenty five art works that included Chinese Ceramic art works which can be traced back to the dynasty period.
China is without doubt, the home of the very exquisite Ceramics crafted under strict conditions with painstaking attention to detail and sensitivity to materials. The exquisite, delicate and pristine beauty of these art pieces was a sight for sore eyes. Czech Republic, a two time participant in the art of Friendship exhibition, exhibited eleven Lithographs by a famous Oldrich and accomplished Czech painter and illustrator.
Germany came with eleven woodcut prints, painted upside down; an unconventional style of anamorphic painting that shocked the audience and provoked reflection. South Korea has been part of Art of Friendship from inception and featured 15 Korean traditional folk painting by fifteen contemporary artists in this year’s exhibition.
The vibrant watercolors explored themes that range from landscape and animal’s everyday life and living, purity and beauty to the surrealistic world of mythology. While speaking at opening ceremony of the Third edition of the Art of friendship 111 an exhibition of art from Asia, Europe and Nigeria, the Director General of National Gallery of Art NGR, Abdullahi Maku noted the agency is excited to be part of this collaborative effort which aims at capturing and promoting the divergent creative spirits from three continents
He said the “exhibition will have positive impact toward promoting unity and sustainable development among the nations around the world. The cross fertilization of ideas encapsulated in these works of art will further deepen cross cultural creative expression and equip emerging artists with a new visual language.”
On his own, the Korean Ambassador to Nigeria; Mr. Noh Kyu-Duk, solicited for more participating nation’s that would enhance robust and mutual cooperative relations further.
According to him, it is through the magic of art that people with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds can get together and feel same emotion via artistic media.
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