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3-10 February 2024

Em’kal Eyongakpa

Em’kal Eyongakpa, kerakaraka 3-i, inter-sessions at CCA Lagos, Lagos (Jan 30th – 31st, 2020), photo credit: Kene Nwatu, Courtesy of the artist & Bɔ́ Bɛtɔk
Em’kal Eyongakpa, Rustle 2.0, Installation view at 32nd Biennial de São Paulo, photo credit: Leo Eloy / Estúdio Garagem, Courtesy of Em’kal Eyongakpa, Bɔ́ Bɛtɔk and Fundação Bienal de São Paulo
Em’kal Eyongakpa, Bámbáy bebhɛp 43t/, besáŋ berat /bakay nɛkɔ, installation view, Irish Museum of Modern Art, photo credit: Louis Haugh, Courtesy the artist Em’kal Eyongakpa, Bɔ́ Bɛtɔk and IMMA

Born Mamfe, Manyu (1981), lives and works in Western Europe and the Gulf of Guinea

Betok babhi, Babhi betandat, bassem 2022-2024
scaffolding, sound sculpture, wooden platform, sonic interventions, postcards
Courtesy of the artist, Bɔ Bɛtɔk, E.E. Intermedia studios
The production of this work was supported by Bɔ Bɛtɔk, E.E. Intermedia studios, Creatives Tent & Mercedes Vilardell.
Commissioned by Lagos Biennial 2024

Artist statement

Em’kal Eyongakpa approaches experience and the unknown, as well as collective histories, through a ritual use of repetition and transformation. His ideas increasingly draw from indigenous knowledge systems, ethnobotany, applied mycology and technology, in explorations of personal and shared dimensions of experience. Blurring the media employed, Eyongakpa’s interwoven installations/experiences are often transcriptions from/of non-intrusive interventions within explored spaces, processes. These habitually mimic, evoke or employ the elements as well as natural processes and phenomena. Eyongakpa is also known for self-organised community research spaces and autonomous art hubs, KHaL!SHRINE Yaounde (2007-2012), Bɔ Bɛtɔk/ ɛfukuyu (Gulf of Guinea/ Western Europe 2017-present). This project is informed mainly by artistic research/reflections in the refugee resettlement camps in Nigeria’s Cross River State, where Eyongakpa initiated ‘Creatives tent’ community art hub/creatives refuge in Ojoga. The postcards presented relate to Ground one_c35 food and medicinal gardens, a little fragment within ‘Bɛtɔk Babhi’ (translated as road nations), and complement the main reflection ‘Bassem’ around caves as refuge sites. Bɔ Bɛtɔk / Efukuyu is a platform/fund by Eyongakpa for community projects between Western Europe and the Gulf of Guinea.

Sonic interventions

Sonic activations around the installation Betok babhi, Babhi betandat, bassem, drawing on artistic work in the refugee resettlement camps in Nigeria’s Cross River state where Eyongakpa initiated ‘Creatives tent’ community art hub. Presented together with collaborators based between Lagos and the refugee settlements in the Cross River Basin using instruments that employ household receptacles and hybrid communication tools to create poly-rhythmic beat generators and polyphonic experiences.

Em’kal Eyongakpa’s work is included in Gregarious architectures.