AMARIDIAN ARTIST PROFILE: ABOUBAKAR FOFANA
Aboubakar Fofana was born in Bamako, Mali and has lived in France for over thirty years. He is a calligrapher, artist and textile designer now based in Bamako. He uses ancient African weaving and dying techniques to create a solidly contemporary body of work. Using organic fibers and natural dyes, he is committed to preserving and revitalizing Mali's nearly lost tradition of natural indigo and vegetable dying. Profoundly concerned with maintaining Mali's cultural heritage, he has sought out the remaining masters of old weaving and dying, learning from them their 'savoir-faire'.
Time and the changing nature of matter are underlying, recurrent themes in his artistic work. Of course vegetable and mud dyeing address this theme intrinsically as a medium. He weaves, dyes and assembles primarily locally grown organic cotton but also employs hemp, jute, linen, silk and other un-treated fibers that are perfectly suited to natural dyes.
Aboubakar Fofana has significant experience living and working in Japan. His unique collaboration with Japan's Masakazu Akiyama taught him the art of silk raising, weaving and dying; marking his evolution as an artist. He regularly participates in conferences organized internationally on textile art in general but also on more technical subjects of natural dying techniques. His work has been exhibited on numerous occasions in Japan, France, America and Africa.