Ghanaian artist Eric Adjetey Anang will display his Fantasy Coffins on Saturday from noon-5 p.m. The IMU Black Box Theater will host his six coffins. Anang is also an artist in residence this semester.

Think coffins. Think cobwebs and fear. Think Count Dracula.


Eric Adjetey Anang, a Ghanaian-born artist, begs to differ.

He constructs beautiful coffins, each with its own meaning and symbolization. A 9-foot coffin, with a black and white interior is painted to look like an American flag.

Unlike a normal coffin, this one can figuratively fit in any pocket or purse. Molded into the shape of a gun, Anang addressed gun violence in the most haunting of ways. He sent the perfect message.

Anang’s coffins will be on display Sept. 16 in the IMU Black Box Theater (third floor). Six coffins will be on display. The exhibition doors open at noon and close at 5 p.m.

“Eric is making these coffins to embody his own personal context,” said Cory Gundlach, the UI Museum of Art curator of arts of Africa, Oceania, and Americas. “He’s making these for both funerals and museums.”

Ghanaian art possesses a sense of truth within it. The art crosses over with what the artists see and what they say. Gundlach found there to be a dearth of contemporary African art in the museum.

After connecting with Anang via Facebook, the two decided to have a presentation at the UI. Anang will also stay at the UI from Oct. 1 to Nov. 18 and work as an artist in residence. During that time, he will make two new coffins and work with art students.

Anang’s grandfather started the profession of designing coffins. While growing up around the shop, he became inspired by his grandfather and those who worked around him. When his grandfather died, Anang had two choices: He could either go to college or take up his grandfather’s profession. Read more