September 24, 2020

Art Show: Kadara Enyeasi: Is it not enough for the sea to be beautiful? | Opens This Evening

Book Gallery Appointment

kó launches its inaugural exhibition by Kadara Enyeasi, titled Is it not enough for the sea to be beautiful?

Enyeasi’s newest body of work uses the ocean as a metaphor to interrogate emotions of introspection, identity and regret. The exhibition’s premise is based on a poem by Chinua Achebe, Afternoon Raid, in which two friends are separated by a fatal air raid while trying to reach one another from across the road. Written at the height of the Nigerian Civil War, the poem highlights the angst of separation that occurs with immense conflict and turmoil. Enyeasi transforms the setting of the road for that of the sea, creating a series of mixed media works that construct a narrative of alienation and loss.

Kadara Enyeasi, Is it not enough for the sea to be beautiful?, 2020, Dye, ink and acrylic on canvas, 60 x 97 in.
Enyeasi explains, “The sympathy between men shared in such tumultuous circumstance can be likened to two people separated by any number of obstacles. Two blood relatives, two lovers, two friends, two strangers. A forest, a desert, a mountain range, the sea. As with ‘Afternoon Raid’, one person is engulfed by death while the other is left behind, watching. He is much too slow.”
Kadara Enyeasi, Olokun/Infinite Solitude, 2020, Dye, ink and acrylic dots on concrete slab (triptych), 53 x 31 in.
The exhibition includes painting, sculpture, photography, collage and audio installation. Kadara creates colorfield paintings, forming abstract monotone canvases that reflect a meditative study of color. As the ocean represents calm, serenity and an intuitive state of peace, it also represents the full expanse of human emotions.
Kadara Enyeasi, Afternoon crossing, 2020, Print on luster paper, Edition of 10, 20 x 20 in.
Introducing poetry as an important element in this new body of work, Enyeasi embosses text as a deep relief etching on handmade paper. The project includes sculptural works that evoke geometric abstraction, with spheres formed from Plaster of Paris and concrete slabs that suggest Morse code. The exhibition also includes photographic images and collages that take on sculptural depth as three-dimensional objects, presented with freestanding frames or through lightboxes.

Inspired by Japanese anime, Kadara created the character of Midori, an animated figure that has become a reoccurring element in his work. Midori is based on a bronze seated figure found in a publication of Nigerian sculptures by Bernard Fagg. In this new iteration, Kadara presents the origin story of Midori, seated atop a soft cloud above the ocean, surrounded by cranes and finding his way.

Kadara Enyeasi, Before I loved you, I was a Pegasus, 2020, Dye, ink, acrylic and gold leaf on watercolour paper, 45.5 x 38 in.
The metaphor of the ocean as a space of separation has blatant political associations, conjuring images of migrants and casualties at sea. His use of oil company logos allude to the political dominance of multi-national corporations. The metaphor of the sea is also is a pertinent message for our current pandemic, which has left us in an uncertain purgatory of isolation. For Kadara, It is a deeply personal exercise, but also one that is innately universal. Kadara ponders how we lose ourselves in relationships, and the inevitable passing of time and opportunity.

This exhibition takes place 25 September 2020-10 October 2020 at kó, 36 Cameron Road, Flat 2, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The Opening Reception will take place Friday, 25 September 2020, 12-7 PM (by appointment). kó’s normal gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11 AM-6 PM.

kó is open by appointment with a confirmed gallery reservation. Book your gallery appointment here.

Kadara Enyeasi is a multidisciplinary artist based in Lagos, Nigeria. A graduate of architecture from the University of Lagos, Kadara’s conceptual artworks combine an interest in architecture and urban space with a focus on the human form. Best known for his work in photography and digital collage, he has recently expanded his practice by experimenting with painting, tactile processes and abstraction. Kadara Enyeasi has has exhibited at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, Foam Museum in Amsterdam, Bozar Festival in Brussels, Red Hook Labs in Brooklyn, Africa Centre in London, La Triennale Expo in Milan, Unseen Festival in Amsterdam and Odessa/Batumi Photo Days in Ukraine. In 2017, Enyeasi completed an artist residency at the Arthouse Foundation in Lagos.
Explore kó’s newly launched website to learn more about our upcoming exhibitions, art fairs and exhibiting artists.
Visit Website


Due to the continued need for social distancing, kó will be open by appointment. This will allow us to control the visitor flow. All visitors must book an appointment in advance in one hour time slots, with a maximum of 4 visitors at a time. To book an appointment, please complete the online form here. We hope that this process will asssure our visitors a safe and comfortable experience during these uncertain times.

kó is an art space based in Lagos, Nigeria, that is dedicated to promoting modern and contemporary art. kó has a dual focus in championing Nigeria’s leading artists from the modern period and celebrating emerging and established contemporary artists across Africa and the Diaspora. kó was launched in 2020 by Kavita Chellaram.

Share This Article on Social Media.

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Box Office

City Arts Calendar