SANDA AMADOU

Visual artist | Benin

Sanda creates ragged vulnerable ink on paper images based on Fulani nomad tattoo symbols. He came to painting by necessity. One day he came across a Fulani woman in a market who had a lot of tattoos on her face. Very impressed by these body marks, he decided as a Fulani man to explore the universe of these tangible symbols that fascinate and wonder. The artistic works of Sanda are generally based on the Fulani culture.

“My aim is to show to the world that pastoral nomadism is not a bad thing but a way of living, a full philosophy. It can contribute to environmental protection and economic development of a society.”

Portrait

SandaAmadouborn in Benin Republic in 1978 from Fulani herdsman decent, holds a Ph.D degree in Sociolinguistics (University of Ghana, Accra, republic of Ghana, June 2013), and received his artistic training by residencies and master workshops. He lived and worked in Lagos for some years, but went back to Cotonou/Benin in 2019. He has been drawing from his early age fascinated by Fulani tattoos.

 Amadou has developed a unique semi-abstract style of drawing and painting exploring and depicting the universe based on these impressive body marks and spent the first 6 years of his artistic career (1999-2005) on Fulani tattoos. His first solo exhibition was held in Nyamey (Republic of Niger) in 2002 at the Palais des CongresFrom 2006 onwards, he redirected his research on the universe of the nomadic Fulani herdsmenincreasingly connecting it to the outside worldmixing and connecting it in various ways with other worlds of culturefor example in his dance studies and poetry studies.

His works, which are whole architectures, obey to a rigorous geometry, but at the same time seem to grow wild. They are made up from lines, circles, triangles and squares, mathematical figures that are never perfect and connect Fulani symbols of natural life with ropes at its base. His images result in imaginary forms that show a ragged vulnerable world, ethereal, always on the move and leave the viewer with a glimpse of an essential unreality. 

Amadou is well recognized in his own country and internationally. He has participated in many solo and collective exhibitions over the years, amongst others in Benin Republic, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal, Dubai, Germany, Netherlands and US (San Francisco/New York) and has been presented at large international art fairs like World Art Dubai and at ARTX Lagos  (Nigeria).  

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Credentials

Solo exhibitions

2020

Sol Kjok, Noosphere arts’ Residency, New York, USA 

2018

“Beyond the infnite”, Museum of African Diaspora, San Francisco, USA

“Univers inattendus”, John Herman’s Gallery, Cologne, Germany

“Bergers”, Chale Wote 2018, Accra, Ghana.

2017

“Nomadic Fulani herdsmen”, Élizabeth Gallery, Dubai, UEA 

2016

“Fulani body marks”, Gallery La Suite, Cotonou, Republic of Benin

2015

“Beyond the infnite”, Gallery la Suite, Cotonou, Republic of Benin

2014

“Africa moves on”, Gallery AKA, Nyamey, Niger republic

2009

“Symbolic universe of Fulani tattoos”, French cultural center, Parakou, Benin republic

Group exhibitions

2020

Roots, OpenArtExchange, Schiedam, the Netherlands   

SOBEBRA, Maison Rouge, Cotonou, republic of Benin 

2018

“Retro Africa”, Generation Y, Abuja, Nigeria

2017

African culture and Design Festivale,  Lagos, Nigeria

“Doto et Sanda”, Institut français de Cotonou, Cotonou, République du Bénin.

2016

Art X Lagos, Lagos state, Nigeria

2015

World Art Dubai,  Dubaï, EAU

2012

Promo Art Jeunese Place des Martyrs, Cotonou, republic of Benin

Artistic residence

2020

OpenArtExchange, Schiedam, The Netherlands

Sol Kjok, Noosphere arts’ Residency, NYC