Prof. Edwin Kwesi Bodjawah


Research Areas/Interests

Contemporary Art, Art History and Art Education...~more

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 Artist Profile (Bio)


Edwin Kwesi Bodjawah (b.1970) grew up in the centre of Accra but he currently lives and practices in the city of Kumasi. He was introduced to commercial cold cast techniques by Francis Nee Kwartei Owoo, a protégé of the once internationally famous pioneer—Giovanni Schoeman, in the early 1990’s while still in art school. Bodjawah’s early works in this vein depicted genre scenes of the emerging African cities—with traditional African ornament—akin to the typical social realist works of the early postcolonial African canon.

Employing antique-finish cold cast technique for his resin-bronze and multi-metal sculpture, he also worked on a number of private and public sculpture commissions. However, a few years into the 21st Century, his practice would take a radical turn after epiphanic engagements with k?rî?k?chä seid’ou on contemporary art. With Bodjawah’s new and expanded perspectives into the politics and infrastructure of international sculpture practice and thought, coupled with an enduring interest in African masking traditions, a new space of criticality was opened in his practice. In his new body of works, he repurposes decommissioned and de-accessioned materials and objects which have intervened in the lives of individuals and communities on the African continent, especially, those mediated through colonial intervention and modern market economies.

Critical to Bodjawah’s current practice is his ritual surfing of the internet to select images of masks that have found their way into museums of the global north and reproducing them serially through a hybrid of artisanal and semi-mechanical means, collaborative manufacture and display.

In recent years, Bodjawah’s work has seen several exhibitions including Spectacles Speculations... (2018, Kumasi) and Silence speaks: Of Blood, Soil and more (2017, Cape Coast), curated by Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh and Of Queens and Kings:Asante (2022, Kumasi)


curated by Internationally acclaimed artist- Godfred Donkor. His publications are in the areas of art history, contemporary art and art education.

Bodjawah is a principal Trustee and Patron of blaxTARLINES, an art incubator and project space affiliated with the KNUST Fine Art Department and Associate Professor in the same Department. He is also the coordinator of the KNUST Museum (Opoku Ware II Museum). He has been Dean and Vice of the Faculty of Art, KNUST.

At the national level he has served as External Assessor for the University of Education, Winneba, Ho Technical University and Takoradi Technical University where he also served as a Resource Person for Teaching MTech. programmes in Applied and Fine Arts. He is also External Examiner for Ho Technical University. Bodjawah has also been involved in conservation, restoration of significant artefacts and heritage elements in Ghana. These include restoration, conservation and preservation of several artefacts and effigies for the Manhyia Palace Museum among others. He also serves on the Governing Council of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board. He was Guest of Honour and Keynote Speaker at the Kuenyehia Contemporary Art Awards for Africa in 2021.

He serves/served in various capacities at the international level. In 2018 he participated in the International Sculpture Conference in Philadelphia and was a visiting scholar in Ramapo College, New Jersey. He is a member of the International Council of Museums. He was part of a three- member panel who reviewed the PhD programme in Fine Art for University of South Africa (UNISA) Pretoria in 2019 and a facilitator at the 12th Bamako Rencontres, Mali, in 2019. He also served as External Examiner for the University of South Africa and Rhodes University, respectively in 2020. In the same year he was an advisor to the Prince Claus Fund (Netherlands). Prof. Bodjawah was a visiting Scholar for series of lectures and panel discussions during the Exhibition Obu Bubomi Bam 8 Out Of 8: I Teach Art at the University


of South Africa, Pretoria in 2021. Prof. Bodjawah has also collaborated with other colleagues to engage local and international institutions for the teaching, visibility and development of Fine Art in the University, Ghana and the global art community.

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