Both a sculptor and a performer, Jems Koko Bi mixes avant-gardist influences to his firmly african history. In his works, he questions the notions of space and time, within a wider and ongoing reflexion on his own existence.
''The trees give me instructions and I carry them out in the wood. They advise me and I tell their stories.''
His wooden sculptures initiate a conversation with the forces of nature. In his studio at the heart of the forest, immense sculptures see the light of day and interrogates the identity and the ancesters, the native land and the exile. Through a subtle and confident gesture, the artist reveals the outlines of matter.
Following multiple deafening swings, a face comes out of the stump. The mechanised, sympathetic, hand drags it out. It has always existed, but it was hidden from the world. The gesture reveals its shape. In rhythm, through gentle touches, the artist seems to caress its surface, which he transforms at each passage. He awakens the element with a mastered intuitive precision: a dance armed with an iron fist in a breath of tenderness.
Image: Têtes, exhibition No Man's Land, 2015