Boukaré Bonkoungou

Born in 1978 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso Lives and works in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso The fact that Boukaré Bonkoungou works with bronze is not that unusual. Burkina Faso has a long tradition of casting bronze. It passes from father to son. This was also the case in his family. So, he partly copied the work at home, but he also followed a course at the CNAA, the 'National Center for the Arts and Crafts' in Ouagadougou. An institute where many artists have taken their first professional steps. While exhibiting in Burkina Faso and France, he was awarded by the SIAO at the International Crafts Exhibition in Ouagadougou in 2002 and won the first prize of the 2001 expo in Ouagadougou. He travels the bush in search of the right pieces of wood he needs for his creations. This natural environment inspires a new life for these inert wooden objects. They are then completed in bronze and sometimes iron and are transformed into amazing figurative sculptures: men, young and old, or powerful expressive animals, always reflecting the themes of nature or life in the bush. Bonkoungou does not limit himself to bronze. He combines wood with bronze and sometimes iron in his sculptures. The wood is not always visible because it is hidden under elemental clothing made from traditional, raw Bogolan fabrics. This combination of materials deprives the bronze of the coldness and detachment that it naturally has. Vulnerability and touchability take its place. He also deviates from the usual in his themes. Although he also makes (large) animal sculptures such as the rhino and the warthog, he mainly focuses on people, ordinary people, loners but often also people who have something in common (students, travelers, diplomats, refugees) or who have a relationship with each other (parent-child, man-woman). Although Bonkoungou executes the heads of the people elementally - hairless, round heads with holes as eyes - he manages to make the scene emotional. He does this partly through the gestures and posture of his characters, partly by making the bronze look worn and by using old wood so that the materials match the ragged and shabby nature of the company. While the sculptures are generally fairly realistic, some of them take on surrealistic traits. It gives the impression that he wants to give them an extra symbolic meaning. In any case, this proves that the artist, despite the perhaps somewhat detached basic material that he uses and despite the abstract way in which he shapes his figures, succeeds in providing them with recognizable emotions. Then you are a special artist. Rob Perrée, Art writer, africanah.org

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  1. Boukaré Bonkoungou
    La Victoire
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    Le Cri de la Liberté
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  3. Boukaré Bonkoungou
    La folle
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  4. Boukaré Bonkoungou
    Les 4 frères
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