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  • Stephen Abban Junior

Stephen Abban Junior: Beyond Expectations

Updated: Mar 3




Stephen Abban Junior and this work, AKUSIKA


 


I was in awe of this multi-dimensional art story AKUSIKA, by Stephen Abban Junior. He agreed to share this work in his illustrative video with Garden Spices. Gate open. - Victorine


AKUSIKA


A true-life story of "AKUSIKA," the Girl with a Golden hand. Her narrative starts from the tragedy of her birth, the agony of her life, healing, and the commemoration of her allegory.


Inspired by Ghanaian ethnomusicologist Nana Kwame Ampedu, the piece depicts the true-life story of "AKUSIKA," the girl with a golden hand. Her narrative starts from the tragedy of her birth, the agony of her life, healing, and the commemoration of her allegory.


A long time ago, on a beautiful Wednesday morning, a miracle baby girl was born to a farmer and his wife after many years of barrenness. The couple, Atobrah and Afia, named their baby Aku to commemorate the day she was born. Three days later, the happy farmer sadly became a widower – Aku was now his world. He dedicated his life to taking care of his miracle baby.


Atobrah was a hardworking man who always set off in the morning to his farm to take care of his produce. As a result of the tragedy that happened a few months ago, he had to balance taking care of his daughter and the farm, which was unfortunately not expected. It was a Monday at 7 am, which meant Atobrah had already fed his daughter and was ready to set off to the bush to hunt for animals to prepare lunch. He decided to stay with his daughter since she was sick and therefore needed constant attention.


Fortunately for this loving father, his house was a few meters from the bush, so he decided to set a trap in front rather than in the middle of the bush to keep a close eye on his daughter. Although the bushmeat was usually found in the heart of the bush, Atobrah was still hopeful. Las! he heard a loud noise, which made him put Aku on the mat to grab the meat from the trap into the house. Aku, the 8-month-old mischievous baby, crawled toward the trap his father had reset, hoping to catch another animal.





 

 ARTIST STATEMENT


STEPHEN ABBAN JUNIOR


Illustrations on the walls of Mama Agartha, his mother, as a means of keeping memory. A short-term memory loss ushered his illustration on his mother’s walls of his mother’s bedroom during his early childhood. This is to help him recall his thoughts, moral lessons, and values passed on by his parents. That called for his moral commission at age eight by most of his basic school teachers; Mr. Tetteh was the initiator.


The formalism of Stephen Abban Junior’s oeuvre is comprised largely of figurative representations that the feminine figure dominates, thereby allotting Fluidity, unclenching, and amnesty in his journey through his executions. Abban uses the human body (depicted in varied postures and spaces) metaphorically as a way to address the pertinent historical narratives that are reticent in contemporary history.


Art is the only profession where its past is as relevant as its nature-present. Hence, the antiquity of an artifact adds up to its value. Inspirations from nature aging on historical antique objects (old medieval manuscripts) have resulted in the creation of watercolor-like washes on the background of his works.


Moral lessons are hardly taught during this century and seem to be vanishing; for nature- present its survival, lessons learned from his parents and elders during his infancy, folk stories, and stories in traditional Ghanaian songs will be inculcated in his future compositions for the benefit of the current and future generations.


 





BIOGRAPHY

Stephen AbbanJunior is a young contemporary Ghanaian artist currently working and living in Sekondi-Takoradi (the twin city of the Western Region, Ghana). He is a native of Mankessim, in the Central Region of Ghana. Abban’s passion for art began at an early age, scribbling on walls and replicating popular cartoon characters in books and on any available sheet of paper. His uncle, Abam, a farmer and one of the prominent personalities in the village, supported him throughout his artistic journey.

EDUCATION

Abban studied visual arts in senior high school and holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in commercial arts (painting) from the Takoradi Technical University and also went on an International exchange program in Europe-Hungary to study visual representation (Fine Art) at Eszterhazy Karoly University in Eger-Hungary but currently pursuing a Bachelor of Technology degree in painting (studio practice) at the same university.

Artwork displayed at Saatchi Art

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