O’DA Art Gallery | FNB
Booth LAB #A

Don’t stop staring, 2023 (Duke Asidere) Oil on canvas 77 x 77 cm

For its debut at FNB Art Joburg Fair, O’DA Art Gallery will present a booth exploring the ‘Unspoken Stories’ of the African Identity and the histories connected to our traditions addressed through the practice of Nigerian multidisciplinary artist, Isaac Emokpae, Duke Asidere & French visual artist, Ousmane Ba.

Ousmane Ba’s work explores our relationships with self, the dynamism of movement, and our engagement with nature. Inspired by the art of calligraphy, he uses ink, as well as the techniques of Japanese printmaking, as a way to highlight bodies that are underrepresented and invisible in art circles through a body positivity lens. With weightless silhouettes arching and floating in each composition, Ba focuses on enacting the spiritual essence of peace and harmony–inspired by his Fulani background, a traditionally pastoral nomadic community. As a result, his figures become a motion vector that represents a metaphor for life, one where unity and oneness exists.

Similarly, in exploring traditions and our connection to our roots, Isaac Emokpae’s Infinity Series pays homage to the traditional African Woven cloth, Aso-Oke–a prestigious hand-woven cloth created by the Yoruba people of West Africa. In this series, the artist highlights the unspoken stories woven into every strip of the Aso-oke fabric. Using the meticulous process of the stained glass technique, the artist works backwards layering each colour to match the precision of the fabrics colour scheme. Through the use of bold colours, and expressive lines, he expresses the varied identities interwoven in the yoruba tradition.

Duke Asidere on the other hand responds to the complexities of his community life and how he is directly affected by them. Depicting family members, friends and random people he encounters, he adopts playful and caricature imagery to explore the defiant forms of identity & individualism in his portraits. Similarly, his abstract pieces of heavy layers of oil paint across the surface of the canvas exude latent energy and metaphorically speak to nature’s endless possibilities. With adventure at the crucks of his creative expression, Asidere paints from a place of spontaneity and internal expression as a means to seek creative freedom in an otherwise oppressed society.

The African Identity is layered with contexts of history, tradition, memory. Through their distinct style, each artist forms visual metaphors of these realities with the intention to ensure narrative continuity.

A beautiful day, 2023 (Isaac Emokpae) 60 x 81 cm Plexi glass


Eros, 2023 (Ousmane Ba) 60 x 42cm Sumi, japanese pigment on washi (japanese pigment)

Book your tickets to FNB Art Joburg

08/09/2023 – 10/09/2023


Duke Asidere (b.1961)

Duke Asidere is a Nigerian contemporary artist who uses his art to engage with contemporary African politics. Through visual metaphors, Asidere comments on the everyday complexities of life from political upheavals and cultural struggles within his community; to social and psychological deficiencies within his community.

Isaac Emokpae (b.1976)

Isaac Emokpae is a Nigerian visual artist who studied art at the University of Lagos under Professor Abayomi Barber. He focused on painting at University but has worked in fashion photography and journalistic photography for most of his working life. He is the son of well known Nigerian modern artist, Erhabor Emokpae and while he has inherited much of his father’s flare he also carved out a strong name for himself in a short time. Isaac has won awards such as the UNESCO “Save of Treasures” art competition in Troyes, France (1996) and the Hasselblad Masters (Semi Finalist Award) for Photography (2007). He is increasingly known for his paintings on board and canvas which touch on complex philosophical themes such as duality.

Ousmane Ba (b.1988)

Ousmane Bâ is a French visual artist, born and raised in Strasbourg where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from L’Institut Supérieur des Arts Appliqués. His practice mainly centres around drawing, painting and collage. Bâ always took an interest in Japanese art and moved to Japan in 2017 to develop his style and technique, immersing himself into a new philosophy and vision of the world. He works mostly with ink, inspired by the art of calligraphy as well as the techniques of Japanese printmaking, including, among others, the « Moku Hanga » technique (wood print).

O’DA is a Contemporary Art Gallery based in Lagos, Nigeria. Established in 2021, we specialise in the work of Contemporary Art & Design from across the African continent and its diaspora.
Bridging the gap between local and international audiences, our gallery is committed to championing mid-career and established artists, whilst celebrating multi-faceted designers who explore a wide range of themes such as; identity, technology, political commentary, social consciousness and environmental change.
With “serenity” at the epicentre of our gallery vision, we strive to showcase engaging exhibitions by fusing art and interior design to create an immersive environment for our audiences. With a continuous programme of sublime exhibitions, installations and performances, the gallery aims to foster global partnerships, expand a gallery residency programme and welcome art connoisseurs to contemporary West African art practices.


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