Jems Robert Koko Bi

Jems Robert Koko Bi was born in Cote D'Ivoire, Africa in 1966 where he lived and studied until 1997 when he won the DAAD scholarship and commenced his art studies in Germany culminating in his position as master student with Professor Klaus Rinke in 2000.

Koko Bi is principally a sculptor using wood as his primary choice of material. Most recently Koko bi has begun to create a series of wooden sculptural portraits of individuals he has been inspired by. So far sculptures of Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr have been completed. The Nelson Mandela sculpture has been erected in the Germany city of Essen and the Martin Luther King Jr sits in the grounds of California State University.

KoKo Bi's collection of works on paper have a haunting quality and show the very real agonies suffered by post colonial Africa – the western style (school) chair symbolising the European model of authority that has been imposed on Africa and then misused by post independence leaders.

I have always been searching for a way to say "No." But "No" to what exactly, I have never fully understood, nor how to comprehend the motives behind this inclination. I wanted to say "No" to the idea that an African child must follow the dictates of his father. I wanted to say "No" to corruption. But I also wanted to say "No" to myself, and to difficulties that were not difficult enough.


Jems Robert Koko Bi

Selected Exhibitions
Participant Artist for the Republic of the Ivory Coast Pavilion, Venice Art Biennale 2013
Group show, AMSTERDAM (The Netherlands). Apollolaan, Minervalaan, Zuidas, Vondelpark and Museumplein, International Sculpture Route Amsterdam: ARTZUID 2013.
Group show, BRUXELLES (Belgium). The Museum of Europe-America: It's Also Our History: Three Centuries of Relations between Europe and the United States.
Nomad Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
Düsseldorfer Große Kunstausstellung, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, Germany
The Toronto International Art Fair, Toronto, Canada
8th Dakar Biennale Senegal (catalogue)
"Travesia", Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain
"L'homme est un Mystère", Musée de la Briqueterie, Langueux, Bretagne, France
"Premier choix", Musée de la Rotonde des Arts Contenporains Abidjan, Côte d´Ivoire
CAFKA 07, Biennale Kitchener "Haptic", Contemporary Art Forum, Canada
Dak'Art, Dakar Biennale, Sénégal (catalogue)
Biennale Waldkunst Pfad Darmstadt, Germany (catalogue)
"EUROPE-AFRICA", Brussels, Belgium (catalogue)
Chateau des Templiers, Greoux Les Bains, France
Biennale of Graphics, Versailles, France (catalogue)
"Outdoor Sculpture", Cologne, Germany
"Kunst am Baum" im Städtischen Museum Gelsenkirchen, Germany
"Zaunwelten", Museum für Kommunikation, Berlin, Germany

"Sculpteur d'ailleurs", Intenational symposium & exhibition, Abbaye de Bon Repos, Saint- Gelves, France
"L'homme est un Mystere", Musée de l´espace Francois Mitérand, Gingamp, France
"Sculpture Sculpture", International Sculptors Symposium, Joucas-en-Provence, France 2004

"XARALA", Art sans frontière Abbatial Palais, Saint-Hubert, Belgium
"L'Europe fantôme", Espace Vertebra, Brussels, Belgium
"Blick nach Afrika" (Heilbronn) Künstlerbund Heilbronn, Germany
"Carrefour", GEA, Bochum, Germany
Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center, Havana Biennial, Cuba
Düsseldorfer große Kunst Ausstellung, Museum Kunst, Düsseldorf, Germany (catalogue)

Dak'Art 2002, Dakar Biennale, Sénégal (catalogue)
"ASSIMILATION", Atelier vor Ort Anne Berlit, Gallery ATISS, Dak 'Art Biennale and the Dakar
Ministry of Culture, Dakar, Sénégal (catalogue)
Musée de Dakar (Sénégal) (catalogue)
"Art Flows", Rhein-Moscow, Russia (catalogue)
"Bau-Kunst", Essen erlebt Architektur (catalogue)
"Weg zur Kunst", Eschweiler
Gallery of European Sculpture Vicht Aachen
Düsseldorfer große Kunstausstellung NRW Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, Germany (catalogue)

Städtische Galerie Kaarst, Germany
"Paradis obscur", Forum Bildender Künstler, Essen, Germany (catalogue)
"Künstler gegen Gewalt und Ausgrenzung", Landtag Düsseldorf, Germany
Bau-Kunst, Essen erlebt Architektur, Modelausstellung.
"Die andere Seit der Kette", Atelier Projekt Kettenschmiedemuseum, Fröndenberg, Germany (catalogue)

member trade association in the visual artist (WBK)
Forum 2000, Essen, Germany
Dak´Art 2000, Dakar Biennale, Sénégal (catalogue)

"Traumfabrik", Galerie Sparkasse Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany
Galerie europäischer Kunsthof Vicht, Stolberg, Germany
Kunstspur, Atelier, Altendorferstrasse107 Essen, Germany

Städtische Museen, Heilbronn, Germany (catalogue)
Iwalawa House, University of Bayreuth, Germany

ARTEFACT 97, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

Goethe Institut, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
EWOLE 96, Centre Culturel Français, Lomé, Togo
ARTEFACT 96, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

Klaus Simon workshop, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
"Artists Against AIDS", Center Culturel Français, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
Musée d'Art Contemporain Cocody, Abidjan (catalogue)
Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany (catalogue)
Municipal Museum, Heilbronn, Germany (catalogue)
House of World Cultures, Berlin, Germany (catalogue)
Castle Museum, Gotha, Germany

"Dédouanement" Musée de la Rotonde des Arts Contemporains, Abidjan, Côte d´Ivoire
"Menschen Erde" Waldkunst Pfad, Darmstadt, Germany
"Mea culpa", Joucas en Provence, France
"Chemin de l´épreuve", Havana Biennale, Cuba
"Galère" Dakar Biennale Dakar
"Camouflage, The Center of Contemporary Art of Southern, East and West Africa, Belgium (catalogue)

"Return of the children of Gorée", Gorée, Dakar, Sénégal (catalogue and film)
"On change de terre", Dusseldorf Art Academy, Germany
"Zwei Spuren, ein Weg", Anne Berlit - Koko Bi, Alte Synagoge, Essen, Germany
"Die andere Seite der Kette", Kettenschmiedemuseum, Fröndenberg, Germany

Francophone Prize, Dakar Biennale 2008
Award of the Evangelical Church of Food
Ifa project grant
Registered in the anthology of African art of the 20 century
Foundation Art and Culture of North Rhine-Westphalia: Project Scholarship
The Dakar Biennale, Prize, 2000
The Kunstverein Dusseldorf Prize