1978 · Ivory Coast
Armand Boua was born in 1978 in Abidjan where he still lives and works.
Armand Boua deals with the human condition, as a response to the inhumanity he sees in the world around him. His recent works, depicting the formless figures of forgotten children, testify to the violence that continues to characterise the political struggles of West Africa. His aesthetic is one born out of an engagement with found material, to which he applies his signature forms that evoke images and scenes in remembrance. Working in Abidjan, the economic capital at the crossroads of urbanisation and industrialisation, Boua experiences the Ivorian landscape with a heightened sensitivity. His observations of children are drawn largely from street scenes where urban migrations create ethnic, linguistic, cultural and social entanglements that have come to enrich and problematise the region in equal measure.
In Ivory Coast, where child abduction remains a chillingly real issue, myths of human sacrifice and other rituals fuel a market for the organs of the young, who also fall victim to sex trafficking, illegal adoption rings and plantation labour.
Congregating in densely urban centers, Boua’s subjects could well be victims of such exploitation, or symbols of hope and innocence. Nonetheless, what is known is that they’re lives are undoubtedly susceptible to the dangers of this volatile world. The severity of this crisis foreshadows the practice of the street-based artist, who sees the atrocities of man echoed in everyday life, and gives them shape through poetic forms and emotive expressions.