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Coalescent Lights curated by Kami Gahiga celebrates distinguished luminaries who share a history of showcasing at 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair.

Ouattara Watts, Intercessor #5, 2022. Mixed media on canvas, 122 x 122cm. Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Dakar, Paris).

This third iteration of the 1-54 Presents series marks its inaugural appearance in Asia, weaving together a rich tapestry of aesthetic philosophies and approaches. It offers a unique opportunity to glimpse into developments within contemporary African art while drawing on conceptual threads across artistic generations.

For the past twelve years, the fair has significantly contributed to the institutional and market recognition of African artists. Coalescent Lights spotlights a curated selection of artworks by artists who have enriched the canon at 1-54, spanning mediums such as painting, photography, sculptural installation, and textile pieces. The exhibition unfolds in five parts, exploring themes of tradition, spirituality, intimacy, environmental boundaries, translocation, and representation.

Inspired by French-Cameroonian curator Simon Njami’s call for a nuanced understanding of contemporary African art, the exhibition celebrates its transdisciplinary nature. Njami’s vision of the contemporary as “multi-dimensional and constantly in motion” underscores the dedication of Coalescent Lights to spotlighting the vast diversity of talents within the field.

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, founded by Touria El-Glaoui in 2013, has been pivotal in the global recognition of contemporary African art. This presentation in Asia continues the 1-54 Presents program, bringing together artists under curated themes. Coalescent Lights at Christie’s Hong Kong draws on multiple generations of artists, highlighting 1-54’s commitment to expanding discourses on contemporary African art. It’s a poetic exploration curated by Kami Gahiga, showcasing luminaries who have exhibited at previous global editions, many for the first time in Asia.

The exhibition is on view from the 26th until the 30th of March, 2024. For more information, please visit 1-54 and Christie’s.

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