born in 1968
Hako Hankson’s work is a true ode to the past and myths of ancient African civilizations. The artist transcribes, with legitimacy, the history of ancestral rites by giving them a contemporary resonance. He grew up surrounded by distant beliefs, lulled by songs, a dialect, a poet in the manner of Homer, Hako Hankson’s frescoes substitute for the spoken word and have a real didactic function.
Skirting the fine line between profane and sacred, it is a rare world that is made acces- sible to the greatest number. These open windows on the past are reminders to allow the actors of the present not to commit past mistakes. It is precisely to define this new Africanity that the artist places himself as the intermediary of an invisible, secret world and uses emblematic visual elements of world-renowned artists, yet foreign to his country and its customs. Africa is known for its transmission through orality, a heritage of intangible storytelling and singing. Moreover, in this very codified world that is the court, one cannot speak of songs without mentioning dance, puppet theater, “icons” or mysterious rites, trance by evocation, ceremonies.
Born in 1968, Bafang, Cameroon
Living and working in Douala, Cameroon
Born in 1968 in Bafang, Cameroon, Hako Hankson now lives and works in Douala. A self-taught artist, Hako, whose real name is Gaston Hako, was promised a completely different future. However, he chose painting and the elements that forged his youth. With a diploma in car mechanics, he could not help decorating his classrooms from the time he was in primary school.
Hako Hankson’s approach is to help and learn from his peers. Through sharing and exchange since his artistic beginnings, he has created a reception centre and a place of residence for visual artists facing difficulties. This structure, called In and off art center, was inaugurated in 2013 by his own means.
Hako grew up under the influence of the art and culture of the sources of his country. His father, the first notable of his village, was one of the greatest notables of Cameroon in addition to being a sculptor and musician at the Royal Palace. Hako was therefore brought up surrounded by objects of initiation rites: masks, statuettes, totems etc. used by his father.
Solo Exhibitions (selected)
The light is in front of you, OH GALLERY, Dakar, Sénégal
Sur le chemin des réfugiés, OH GALLERY, Dakar, Sénégal
Exposition Kamerun, OH GALLERY, Dakar, Sénégal
Initiation, OH GALLERY, Dakar, Sénégal
LA-BAS, esplanade des rencontres, Douala, Cameroun
Traces du passé et poussières de cendre, Espace Doual’art, Douala, Cameroun
Jonction, Carré des Artistes, Douala, Cameroun
Ombres et esprits, Espace doual’art, Douala, Cameroun
Group Exhibitions (selected)
The Black Ghost, Primo Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy
Sur la route des réfugiés, OFF Biennale de Dakar, OH GALLERY, Dakar, Sénégal
Biennale de Dakar, Sénégal
Réalisme ornirique: habiter le réel, OH GALLERY, Dakar, Sénégal
Initiation, Fondation Donwahi, Abidjan, Côte-d’Ivoire
Space in between, avec This Is Not A White Cube, Lisbonne, Portugal
La nature dans la ville, Institut Français de Cotonou, Bénin
Cameroun une vision contemporaine, The World Bank Act 5, Yaoundé, Cameroun
Togetter for the future, In and Off Art Center, Douala, Cameroun
Douala, Portraits, Espace doual’art, Douala, Cameroun