Ghanaian-Canadian Ekow Nimako grew up feeling as though he really didn’t see much of himself in the world around him. Comic books, cartoons, music, even toys meant to foster his understanding of the world or his creative self didn’t accurately reflect the culture with which he was familiar or his people’s experiences. Now, as an artist, he’s doing something about it.
Afrofuturist Ekow Nimako LEGO art
Ekow Nimako is a self-proclaimed “Afrofuturist” which, in his own words, he defines as a cultural aesthetic; a movement that focuses on some kind of futuristic narrative centered on his people’s experiences.
The African culture is woven into everything he does, including his work. In an effort to bring what was missing in his own childhood to others, he runs a workshop for kids at Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum called “Building Beyond” where the children can build brown-faced descendants of their own families with LEGO, helping them to engage and identify with their own backgrounds.
He also offers several Building Beyond single instruction Lego kits for kids or teaching through his website.
You now know the ethos that makes Ekow Nimako qualified to teach a LEGO building workshop to BIPOC children, but what about the talent, imagination and logistical coordination it takes to build LEGO sculptures free-style? Just wait until you see his own LEGO Art.
Ekow Nimako free-styles incredible – and I mean incredible- LEGO sculptures using only black-colored LEGO bricks and pieces. His artworks are all infused with the African culture whether the subject is mythology, anthropology or imagined civilizations.
Below are a few highlights from his collections worth a look.
Building Black Mythos
These are artworks shaped by Black mythological narratives and other-worldly adventures
Building Black Amorphia
These artworks thread together elements of West African mask-making, organic forms, and interstellar vessels.
Building Black Civilizations
These are a reimagining of medieval Sub-Saharan African narratives
We’re thrilled to see him spread his innovative and engaging ways to teach and inspire as well as to marvel as his own artworks. Be sure to see more at his website.
all images courtesy of the artist.