Romuald Hazoumè was born in 1962 in Porto Novo, in the Republic of Benin. He’s a sculptor between tradition and modernism. He was best known for his work La bouche de Ruoi. Recently acquired by the British Museum with the assistance of the Art Fund, the UK’s leading independent art charity, and the British Museum Friends, La Bouche du Roi is a remarkable multi-media artwork created between 1997 and 2005 by Romuald Hazoumé, an artist from the Republic of Benin, West Africa. The structure of La Bouche du Roi is based on a famous late-18th century print of the Liverpool slave ship theBrookes, and is both a powerful memorial to the horrors of the Atlantic Slave Trade and a reminder of its terrible legacy.
Hazoumè creates photographs, masks, canvases and installations. He is also known for his mask series. He started this phase of his art in the mid-1980s. These masks, made from discarded gasoline canisters, resemble those used in traditional African culture and ceremonies.
Hazoumè’s work first came to prominence in the U.K. with the inclusion of his witty, tongue-in-cheek “masks” in the Saatchi Gallery’s Out of Africa show, in 1992. Since then his work has been widely shown in many of the major galleries and museums in Europe and beyond, including the British Museum, the Guggenheim, Bilbao, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, ICP, New York, the Victoria &Albert Museum, London.
Winner in 2007, of the Arnold Bodé Prize (documenta 12, Kassel, Germany),the stellar trajectory of Hazoumé’s rise during these past fifteen years has catapulted him into the first rank of the international artistic community, marking him out as unique amongst other African contemporary artists.
Hazoumè is represented in The Contemporary African Art Collection (CAAC) of Jean Pignozzi.
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