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image credits: Yonga Arts

Yonga Arts: Expressing Africa’s Diverse Culture Through Multi-Disciplinary Art

Digital Creatives

Aug. 11, 2022, 3:17 p.m.

The world of art is constantly changing and evolving. As new mediums are created and new styles emerge, artists constantly push the boundaries of what is possible. One of the most exciting and innovative areas of art today is multi-disciplinary art.

Multi-disciplinary art is the art that uses multiple mediums to create a single piece. This can include anything from digital art to installations to performance art. By combining different mediums, artists can create unique and powerful pieces of art that can have a profound impact on viewers.

If you're interested in seeing some truly innovative and exciting art, then this piece is for you because it focuses on a talented multi-disciplinary Ghanain artist.

Oscar Korbla Mawuli Awuku loves exploring spaces that encourage or inspire his creative expressions. He is a Ghanaian multi-disciplinary artist from the Volta Region and the founder of Yonga Arts. Yonga Arts is an art brand that explores various art forms to capture Africa's vision, culture, and diversity. Oscar often involves photography, creative direction, videography, canvas painting, sculpture, and digital art to express his creative abilities. The young creative birthed the art brand in 2017.

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Oscar shares with DT Africa that art has always surrounded him growing up. "We always improvised to create toys and objects to play with, like cars and soccer players, which we assembled from discarded milk tins and bottle caps as children. Everybody wanted to build the best-looking toys at the time. So I would say that, unconsciously, my sense of art appreciation began from that period, and perhaps it was also informed by my desire to impress my friends with the best-looking play object at the time."

As part of his craft, the Yonga Arts founder explores pre-colonial culture, decolonized practices in contemporary culture, black identity's essence, and societal empowerment questions. Much of his experimentation is influenced by the historical and design decisions that inform the production of Ashanti and Ewe kente cloth. The process entails weavers throwing threads over and beneath each other in a rhythmic, repetitive manner to create patterns and shapes.

The rhythmic movement draws his attention to a crafty-looking yet mythical figure in Ghanaian folklore: Kweku Anansi. Anansi is a Ghanaian name given to the mythical figure described as a spider. His body of work, Anansinisim, takes advantage of the spider's intricate web design, complexity, and embolizing effect.

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He creates both original and traditional designs by fusing visual design networks in a syncopated manner and infusing Adinkra symbology from Ghanaian history. The designs are then painted onto a body. The designs on the body re-echo the collective knowledge and wisdom of Oscar's ancestors, which are gradually losing their values to contemporary audiences, and also feature a ritual mask.

"I use the ritual mask primarily because I believe wearing it would conceptually turn the wearer into the spirit represented by the mask," Oscar states.

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Because art is a key component in enhancing creativity in children as it's a vessel to express one's emotions and ideas, the Yonga Arts founder hopes it will be mandatory in the educational sector. He elaborates that art appreciation is a necessary tool for national development and will greatly impact children's design-building skills and encourage self-expression and creativity in these children if accepted into the curriculum.

"Art can be used to express a wide range of emotions, from happiness and love to sadness and anger. It can be used to communicate messages about social issues and can be used to create awareness about important topics. It can also be used simply for aesthetics, to make something more beautiful."

"By allowing students to express their thoughts, ideas, and feelings through illustrations and labeling, by casually visiting art exhibitions and interacting with professionals in the field, we build a nation where its citizens appreciate and value their culture."

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The founder of Yonga Arts aims to build enough workshops to educate many up-and-coming artists and existing but struggling artists on the value of arts and how to identify with and monetize their crafts. "The art industry is broad, so teaching individuals these things can better inform them to consider being an investor, a curator, or a collector."

Oscar had his basic education at Senajoy Preparatory School and his high school education at Mawuli School, where he studied Visual Arts. Currently, he reads Industrial Painting And Design at Takoradi Technical University.

He's also been able to work with celebrated artists from Ghana, Nigeria, and other African countries.

tag: creatives, ghana, Arts, Arts and Culture,

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Verny Joy Author

Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.

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