Romauld Hazoumé

Romauld Hazoumé, Untitled, 1999 
Romauld Hazoumé, Untitled, 1999 

Romauld Hazoumé (b.1962, Benin) explores signs, symbols and mythologies of West African culture. In Benin, where he lives and works, these things are not to be taken lightly. His works carry traditional and coded information, but they are also accessible to a wider public as aesthetic vehicles of a powerful history. Hazoumé’s art is steeped in cultural and personal experience. His themes are derived from the ‘oracle’ of life, which is to be found in ancient rock engravings between Nigeria, Benin and Ghana. The artist considers his designs for a long time before executing them very rapidly.

Hazoumé is also known for his lively characterisations based on the subtle modification or re-orientation of found objects. His choice of discarded plastics and implements always reflects the place and community in which the works were made.

In Liverpool and for TRACE, the artists developed a sculptural installation piece that related both to the site at Bluecoat Arts Centre where his work was being exhibited, and to his rubbish dumps and from the streets, these objects included old plastic bottles, buckets, brushes and even old cameras. Through a process of minimal re-configuration he transformed these urban detritus into masks, which - like their more traditional West African Counterparts - represented characters from daily life.

Romauld Hazoumé at Liverpool Biennial 1999

Untitled, 1999 
Found objects
Mixed media installation 
Exhibited at Bluecoat Arts Centre