Contemporary African Art Exhibition Series

Ayo Aina

¬†“ The constant urge to stretch the exploratory limit of the 2-D surface guided me into my current experimentation in installation art. The 2-D became less effective as a weapon to express my anger at the various inhuman and anti-social experiences of a society whose failures have been aided by her internal systems and pervasive, materialistic propensities. My art employs metaphor, humour and irony to address critical issues of social and political injustices, and environmental degradation. Industrialization, with its attendant problem of waste generation offers me a rich menu of junk to satisfy my creative appetite.

As an artist in a recycling age, I see myself positioned as a recycling machine powered by mixed media and multimedia.

The slave trade was legally abolished over 200 years ago but our modern world embraces more subtle and deceptive methods of enslavement...contemporary slavery. The only thing that has changed is perhaps nomenclature. The media is filled with stories of human trafficking and forced child labour. A good percentage of the populace live a degraded contemptuous life, toiling long, strenuous hours on jobs that hardly provide for their basic survival needs and give no room for fair working conditions. These are some of the issues addressed in these works."

Ayo Aina was born on 12th August, 1969 in Kano State of Nigeria. ¬†He studied Fine Arts at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he graduated in 1990 with a Bachelor's degree and in 1996 with a Master's degree, specializing in Painting. Since leaving the University he has practiced as a full-time studio artist and has participated in several group exhibitions in Nigeria and abroad. He has participated in several art workshops and the Dakar Biennale in May 2010, and contributed to 4 one-man exhibitions, showcasing his installations and paintings. ‘Deadline’, his most recent exhibition, held at Goethe Institute, Lagos in 2008 was acknowledged in New York based art editorial, Art¬† Forum.

As a practitioner of multimedia art, Aina is attracted to unfamiliar, provocative formats and the use of uncommon exploratory platforms. His works explores Contemporary Slavery, Child Abuse and Environmental Issues.¬†¬† He is a recipient of several awards including Nigerian Art Council Prize for the Best Student in Fine Arts, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1990. His works can be found in public spaces in Nigeria and in the collection of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.¬† Ayo Aina is also a prolific Mosaic Mural designer with over 50 large panels adorning banks, federal ministries and institutions in Nigeria. ¬†He is a member of several professional bodies including the Nigerian Society of Artists.

In recent works, Aina has been focusing on his desire to make ambitious and large-scale installations that comment on various inhuman and anti-social experiences of society.

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

SOLO

   
Deadline - Goethe Institute, Lagos   2008
Vestiges & Debris - Goethe Institute, Lagos   2006
Ainaesthetics, recent Works of Ayo Aina - Maison de France, Lagos   2003

GROUP

   
Dak‚ÄôArt Biennale   2010
Organized Confusion - Alliance Francaise, Kaduna   2005
Changing Attitudes (Africa Heritage 2002) - 4th Biennale of the Pan-African Circle of Artist, Nimbus Art Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos   2002
Found Forms, Environment Informs creativity - Nogh-Nogh Art Group, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria   2002
Images + Meaning: The Nogh-Nogh Installation, an Exhibition of Installation Art - Fine Arts Department, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria   2001
Accident and Design, Gani Odutokun and his Influence, Brunei Gallery - School of Oriental and African Studies, Russell Square, London   2000
Africa Heritage 2000, the Third Biennale of the Pan-African Circle of Arts National Museum, Enugu   2000
Revue Noire, an Exhibition of Contemporary African Art -French Cultural Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos   1999
Accident and Design, Gani Odutokun and his Influence - Maison de France, Ikoyi, Lagos   1999
Songs of Gold, an Exhibition in Celebration of the Triumph of Democracy - Abuja Council for Arts and Culture, Abuja and Didi Museum, Lagos   1999
Vision 2010, an Exhibition of Arts and Design - NICON NOGA Hilton, Abuja   1997
Le Sanctuaire, an Exhibition of Drawings, Painting, Sculptures and Ceramics - Maraba Pottery, Kaduna   1996
Association of Fine Arts Students Organized Exhibition in Memory of Late Gani Odutokun and Prof. L.T. Bentu, Kashim Ibrahim Library, ABU   1995
Africa 95, an Exhibition of Paintings and Sculptures - Maison de France, Ikoyi, Lagos.   1994
Different Strokes I, an Exhibition of Paintings and Sculptures - Alliance Francaise, Kaduna (a Three-Man-Show)   1994
Exposure, Society of Nigerian Artists Special Exhibition - British Council, Kaduna 1990 NAFEST Murtala Mohammed Square, Kaduna   1992
KANART 88, an Exhibition of Paintings and Graphics - Kano State History and Culture Bureau, Sokoto Road, Kano.   1988


SELECTED CURATORIAL PROJECTS

Ainaesthetic, Recent Works of Ayo Aina - Maison de France, Lagos (Solo)   2003
10 @ 2000, an Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture- Alliance Francaise, Kaduna   2000
Uncovering the Tracks, Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture - Crystal Palace Hotel, Abuja   2000
Revue Noire, an Exhibition of Contemporary African Art- French Cultural Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos   1999
Le Sanctuaire, an Exhibition of Drawings, Painting, Sculptures and Ceramics - Maraba Pottery, Kaduna   1996
Different Strokes I, an Exhibition of Paintings and Sculptures of Alliance Francaise, Kaduna (A Three-Man-Show)   1994

FILMS DIRECTED/PRODUCED

An Artist's Passion For the Environment - Thisday March 1. p.37.   2008
Deadline: Irritating Yet blunt - The Nation. Tuesday March 4, p.24-25.   2008
Vestiges and Debris - The Guardian Life, February 26-March 4, P. 24 Lagos.   2006
Ayo‚Ķ.in Touch with Heaven! - The Glitterati, July, 20-26, p. 22, Lagos.   2003
Changing Attitudes. The Pan-African Circle of Artist, Enugu, pp. 29, 54.   2002
Crossroads: Africa in the Twilight.¬† The National Gallery of Art, Nigeria, P. 42.   2000
Nigeria: African Contemporary Art. Revue Noire, France, pp. 32-33   1988
Seven Stories About Modern Art in Africa. White chapel Art Gallery   1995