Book Release: Victor Ekpuk, Connecting Lines Across Space and Time
This 300 page, full-colour, hard-bound monograph on Victor Ekpuk is edited by eminent Professor of African history, Toyin Falola, Ph.D. features essays by 13 scholars analyzing different aspects of Ekpuk’s 28-year career and captures the full essence of his work as an artist of global reputation, a master of mysterious scripts, and ancient signs and symbols. His messages, encrypted in symbols and signs inspired by nsibidi, find expression in paintings, illustrations, cartoons and murals. His powerful messages are encrypted in ways that are sometimes obvious, often times complex, and subject to multiple ambiguous meanings, from the ritualised to the sacred, from the secularised to the mythical. In this book, a host of talented authors reflect on the artist, his background, the foundation of his creativity, and the interpretations of his symbolic messages.
If the initial source is ancient Ejagbam-Efik-Igbo insibidi, its modern manifestation and rebirth in Ekpuk’s lines and signs represent an unusual phenomenon: he turns them into a sort of architectural model, ensuring that structures neither rupture nor collapse. But those structures, one might argue, are erected on cultural artifacts of a moment long gone and of a present rescued by Ekpuk’s originality and innovations. On the one hand, he endows the past with meanings; yet on the other, he propels that past into the present that speaks to many ideas. His signs and lines are designs that produce dynamic intellectual meanings. We are compelled to see his work as living “creatures” that produce functions. As the signs fit, forms emerge, linking structures to functions. Ekpuk becomes a creative engineer of sorts who must maintain a careful sense of proportion. Signs cohere and must fit and be adapted, as if they must obey the laws of gravity and the mystical laws of measurement.
Contributors include Amanda Carlson Ph.D, Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie Ph.D, Smooth Ugochukwu Ph.D, Dele Jegede (Professor Emeritus) , Allyson Purpura Ph.D, Andrea Frohne Ph.d, Moyo Okediji Ph.D, Dr. Imo Nse Imeh, Kunle Filani Ph.D, Dr. Ukpong Onoyom, Toyin Falola Ph.D, Oluwatoyin Vincent Adepoju, Aderonke Adesanya Ph.D, and Dr. Christopher Adejumo.
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