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.”
Sanda Amadou, born 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 Congres. From 2006 onwards, he redirected his research on the universe of the nomadic Fulani herdsmen, increasingly connecting it to the outside world, mixing and connecting it in various ways with other worlds of culture, for 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).
Sol Kjok, Noosphere arts’ Residency, New York, USA
“Beyond the infnite”, Museum of African Diaspora, San Francisco, USA
“Univers inattendus”, John Herman’s Gallery, Cologne, Germany
“Bergers”, Chale Wote 2018, Accra, Ghana.
“Nomadic Fulani herdsmen”, Élizabeth Gallery, Dubai, UEA
“Fulani body marks”, Gallery La Suite, Cotonou, Republic of Benin
“Beyond the infnite”, Gallery la Suite, Cotonou, Republic of Benin
“Africa moves on”, Gallery AKA, Nyamey, Niger republic
“Symbolic universe of Fulani tattoos”, French cultural center, Parakou, Benin republic
Roots, OpenArtExchange, Schiedam, the Netherlands
SOBEBRA, Maison Rouge, Cotonou, republic of Benin
“Retro Africa”, Generation Y, Abuja, Nigeria
African culture and Design Festivale, Lagos, Nigeria
“Doto et Sanda”, Institut français de Cotonou, Cotonou, République du Bénin.
Art X Lagos, Lagos state, Nigeria
World Art Dubai, Dubaï, EAU
Promo Art Jeunese Place des Martyrs, Cotonou, republic of Benin
OpenArtExchange, Schiedam, The Netherlands
Sol Kjok, Noosphere arts’ Residency, NYC