Exhibition "Cercle de vies" 2018 Jems Koko Bi

Galerie Cécile Fakhoury is delighted to present the installation Cercle de vies (Circle of lives) by the Ivorian artist Jems Koko Bi.

‘‘The trees give me instructions and I carry them out in the wood. They advise me and I tell their stories.’’ Through his skillful and assured movements, the artist reveals the outline of the matter. These forms have always existed; there were simply hidden from the world. Here, step-by-step, Jems Koko Bi brings out of a colossal trunk a series of monumental sculptures of cryptic figures. The charred pauses perched in the center of the gallery occupy the space and make the walls, laden with the artist’s thought, resonate. Shaped by his influences from multiple cultural identities, Jems Koko Bi ‘s sculptures and performances express his concerns regarding a past and present history. Cercle de vies imposes his might to unify, to exist, and to reflect in a shared world.


Sculpting is going through various feelings:
melancholy, nostalgia, sorrow, happiness, love, anger, joy, peace.
That is simply why I happen to sculpt at times.

You wonder if I make a living out of my work. Of course I do.
But rest assured I will also die out of it.

A mother gives birth to a child while she is alive.
But a tree brings my sculpture to life when it is dead.
Yet, everyday, I water the tree to maintain it alive.

What would be the point of being an artist if I offend material and misuse space?

The path I took in the wood is a one-way trip. Once I entered, it closed down on me. My tracks can only be seen in the flesh of the wood.

Learning the mechanism of art leads to multiple frustrations and embarrassments due most likely to ego.
Temporarily empty out ego from your body and fill it up with humility instead. You will be amazed.

Trees instruct me and I apply their instructions in the wood.
They advise me and I tell their stories.

Should I become the root of my own tree,
I would better appreciate the worth of the earth that feeds me.

As long as I would alienate myself from my natural essence,
my connection to wood material would only be based on hypocrisy.

Earth my mother
I jeopardize my self capsizing upside down
I am not losing you to hell
Give me some material.

Jems Koko Bi