Art Statements and The French May are delighted to present the first exhibition in Hong Kong by African Artist
"Jet Lag in Hong Kong"
May 1st to May 31st, 2006
Accumulation is fundamental to BARTHELEMY TOGUO's (Born 1967 in Cameroon. Lives and works in Paris) work: he shows his watercolours in large series and makes his sculptural works of numerous heterogeneous parts, All Toguo's titles are in English--an instance of his ironic play with dominant modes, given that he's francophone. His facture is generally rough and quick, whatever the medium, and he treats contemporary art as a sort of lending library, borrowing from the work of Boetti, Clemente and Cragg, among others. His deft appropriations may be seen as an inversion of the historic pillaging Africa underwent during the colonial period.
Toguo's watercolours provide a strong visual beats, using a limited repertory of images and colours to depict a dreamy world of human, animal and vegetal metamorphosis. Sexy female bodies sprout plant life or undefined organs; a male body extends into a spiralling elephant trunk. Rows of nails frequently appear planted in the bodies, an intimation of physical pain in this generally joyful world. Toguo's watercolours, with their humour, erotic energy and sense of possibility, are the most accessible part of his endeavour, if the least critical of the here and now.