Title and Organization:
Concerned with value, global commerce and the detritus of colonialism, artist Ibrahim
Mahama is known for large-scale installations made from materials with particular
significance to Ghana's past and present.
Mahama earned a BFA in Painting from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and
Technology in Kumasi, Ghana in 2010; and in 2013, earned an MFA in Painting and Sculpture
from the same institution. Mahama is perhaps best known for his large-scale works made
from jute sacks. Made in Southeast Asia before being imported to Ghana, jute sacks are
used in markets and to transport goods such as food, charcoal and coal.
To Mahama, the sacks represent a complex system of global exchange and a freedom of
movement afforded to goods over people. Often, he works with collaborators to stitch
tattered sacks together to create enormous patchwork quilts, which are draped over
buildings including theatres, museums and apartments.
In 2015, Mahama gained international attention when he used jute sacks to encase public
structures in Athens for documenta 14, and a long outdoor corridor in the Arsenale complex
at the Venice Biennale.