Victor Ekpuk: Harlem Sunrise
Through April, 2019
In his drawings, paintings, and sculptures, Victor Ekpuk (b. 1964, Nigeria) reimagines archaic graphic symbols as expressions of contemporary life. Reducing forms to their linear, abstract essence, Ekpuk’s work criss-crosses the boundary between writing and art. Ekpuk is especially fascinated by nsibidi, an indigenous Nigerian writing system that uses symbols to convey ideas, and has used it as a starting point for creating his own distinctive “script.”
In Harlem Sunrise, a new installation commissioned by The Africa Center, Ekpuk weaves symbols and fleeting impressions of New York City into a large-scale wall drawing that playfully connects the Center with its surrounding neighborhood. Overseeing it all is a proud rooster, heralding a bright dawn and fresh beginnings. The work is ephemeral and will be painted over at the end of the exhibition, its traces lingering in memory even as it makes way for something new.
Victor Ekpuk: Harlem Sunrise is organized by Uzodinma Iweala, CEO, and Evelyn Owen, Curatorial Fellow. This exhibition is made possible with support generously provided by The Africa Center’s Board of Trustees.