– first of all: it was very exciting when i learnt that i had been selected for the residency. Being based in Ghana, it was like another recognition of my work. This is very strong and powerful as around me, in Ghana, the recognition is quite low.
– in Ghana, going to the States is a dream for a huge majority of the people. I had already been there so i was concentrated on the residency itself and all i could learn and teach/show to my fellow residents.
I had first the idea of making an installation: this is actually one direction i would like to take for developing my work as an artist. Inspired by artists like Ai Wei Wei, Alfredo Jaar or Nam June Paik and motivated on subjects like environment issues, deforestation, terrorism.
– when i arrived, i was amazed by all i could learn during this residency. I was very impressed and a bit lost with many opportunities. I would like to do everything but have to chose. I jumped from an environment where people hardly use basic electric tools and are facing basic and daily difficulties (ie. electricity, communication problems, etc) to another one where i felt like having the potential to experiment and learn everything i could imagine related to wood work.
– yes: the residency gave me the chance to discover and experiment at once different techniques, use of different tools, and – maybe the more important – to meet and discuss with different people (artists/collectors/management of ITE) all passionate with wood work… while in Ghana i do not know anybody who really share this passion. In Ghana, the people you know who are in wood work hardly take their job as a passion but only as a means to make their living. Most of them ready to jump to another occupation. And i am very passionate with what i do.
– at this point in time, i am still a bit confused – there should be a better word than “confused”- with so many options.
Among others, i am willing to thank the Center for Art in Wood and all the people who made that possible. One of my greater wishes is to organize other/more residences in Teshie in order for me also to welcome foreigners and show them other ways of working and living… all that is about exchanges between people / artists who are curious and willing to understand each other. It is all about breaking barriers and fighting/struggling for better comprehension between different cultures. i have found out that art and cultural projects can be perfect tools for that as weapons against racism, segregation, discrimination and feeling of superiority… that are the main causes of wars and misunderstanding in humanity. This is also the way i see my role as an artist. And definitely this residency confirms me in this position. That’s also why i am grateful.
Kane Kwei Carpentry Workshop