Ed Cross Fine Art - Contemporary African Art

Jems Koko Bi
Côte d'Ivoire


Jems Robert Koko Bi was born in Cote D’Ivoire, Africa in 1966 where he lived and studied until 1997 when he won the DAAD scholarship and commenced his art studies in Germany culminating in his position as master student with Professor Klaus Rinke in 2000.

Koko Bi is principally a sculptor using wood as his medium though it is his extraordinary drawings that are featured in this exhibition. These relate to his haunting and powerful sculpture in subject matter but stand alone. All his work is informed by the duality of his own life. He refers to this as a tension between time and space – time represented by the history of Africa and the space that he now finds himself occupying as an international contemporary artist – but with Africa and its history following him like a shadow. His work flows from this contradiction. For him it is a necessity to honour his roots and communicate in a contemporary language that originates from his Africa but has been honed in the West.

The works on paper in this exhibition speak of the very real agonies suffered by post colonial Africa – the western style (school) chair symbolising the European model of authority that has been imposed on Africa and then misused by post independence leaders.