Posts Tagged ‘2024’

Larry Achiampong

A Letter, A Pledge

Onsite: 25 January – 28 March 2024
Launch Event: Wednesday 24 January 6 – 8pm | All Welcome

Caution: Contains flashing lights and themes of a sensitive nature including depression, anxiety, suicide and racism. Please talk to a member of staff if you have any questions.

Stanley Picker Fellow Larry Achiampong’s show centres around two moving image works, processing the imprints of depression, inherited trauma, digital anxiety and Black Masculinity. The films delicately unfurl the tensions of dislocation, lost kin and grief, while placing the visitors in an environment filled with sculptural elements, Ashante stool, games and karate mats, reflecting on the Okinawan karate’s ‘hard-soft style’.

A Letter (Side B) 20 mins (2023) looks at the affective impact of history, immigration and geographical separation on two brothers living in Britain and Ghana. Through the nuanced uses of current and older technologies, visuals, sound and recollections of lived experiences and conversations, the film points to the wider social and political consequences of institutional structures and behaviours that threaten the lives of migrants and refugee families. The piece collapses time, exploring how the past interrupts and impacts in the present and incorporates recent footage filmed by Achiampong in Ghana as well as archival footage from The Museum of African Art: The Veda and Dr Zdravko Pečar Collection in Belgrade, Serbia. Speaking from a deeply personal perspective, the film utilises a ‘hacked’ Game Boy Camera, which Achiampong modified to enable the capture of moving image via HDMI. Through the marriage of storytelling and the use of retro technology, the exploration of time travel and the concept of ‘Sanko-time’ becomes possible. Coined by Achiampong in 2017, the term relates to the Ghanaian Adinkra symbol and indigenous Akan term ‘Sankofa’, meaning to ‘go back and retrieve’. The stools, fabricated in the workshops of Kingston School of Arts to Achiampong’s design, are modelled on the typology of Ashante furniture from Ghana and include Adinkra engravings. You are invited to play the Oware board game in the exhibition, please speak to a member of staff to learn the rules and collect a set of marbles.

A Pledge 20 mins (2024) is a new work that explores the interconnected states of generational trauma, mental and physical health and communal agency. The film begins with the story of a driver and his strained relationship with his father. Depicted through a third-person monologue (voiced by Larry’s son, Sinai Lee Achiampong-Rose), the segment addresses issues of abandonment, inherited trauma and seclusion, whilst holding the rejuvenated promise of connection through the act of driving which the motorist and his father share. Repurposed older technologies, in particular Game Boy Camera moving image presents the story like a driving-based videogame. Shot in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, the second part of the film depicts a father and son engaging in the practise of Gōjū-Ryū Karate. ‘Gōjū-Ryū’ (剛柔流) is a Japanese term meaning ‘hard-soft style’ used in traditional Okinawan karate to describe the combination of hard and soft techniques.

Games in the Exhibition: You are welcome to use the gaming corner at the Gallery entrance, including video games The Legend of Zelda – Majora’s Mask; Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles and the Oware board games inside the exhibition. Please speak to a member of staff to learn the Oware game rules and collect a set of marbles to play.

Associated Events | All Welcome
Artist Talk: Thursday 25 January 2-4pm
Main Lecture Theatre, Kingston School of Art, Grange Road

Film Screening: Wednesday 13 March 6-8pm
Town House Courtyard, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road
Q&A with Larry Achiampong followed by a screening of his epic film Wayfinder

Bio: Larry Achiampong (b. 1984, UK, British Ghanaian) is an artist, filmmaker and musician. He completed a BA in Mixed Media Fine Art at University of Westminster in 2005 and an MA in Sculpture at Slade School of Fine Art in 2008. Achiampong was awarded the Stanley Picker Fellowship in Art and Design at Kingston University (2020), was shortlisted for the Jarman Award (2018/2021) and received the Paul Hamlyn Award (2019). Recent major projects include Genetic Automata (with David Blandy) at the Wellcome Collection, London (2023-24); Wayfinder at Turner Contemporary Margate, MK Gallery Milton Keynes and BALTIC, Gateshead (2022-2023); Liverpool Biennial (2021); Relic Traveller: Where You and I Come From, We Know That We Are Not Here Forever, Phi Foundation for Contemporary Art, Montreal (2021); When the Sky Falls, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton (2020); Pan African Flag For The Relic Travellers Alliance & Relic Traveller, Phase 1, 019, Ghent (2019); Dividednation, Primary, Nottingham (2019).

Credits: ‘A Letter (Side B)’ (2023), ‘A Pledge’ (2024) and ‘A Funeral’ (forthcoming) form part of the series ‘Ghost_Data_’ co-commissioned by The Mosaic Rooms, Stanley Picker Gallery at Kingston University and Heart of Glass.

Special thanks to David Falkner, Faith McKie, Borbála Soós, Natalie Kay, Tat Whalley, Aylish Browning, Rebecca Moss and the whole team at Stanley Picker Gallery; Chrissoula Spiropoulou, Dave Hallett, Giuseppe Valletta (Kingston School of Art Moving Image Studios); Théo Welch-King, Camila Colussi (Kingston School of Art workshops);Mark Wayman, Megan Visser and Charles Stanton-Jones (ADi AV Solutions); Copperfield Gallery, London; Marie and Indran Tanabalan (Kaizen Ryu Karate Do Seiwakai East London); Hayleigh-Joy Rose; Sinai Lee Achiampong-Rose; Zael Grace Achiampong-Rose; Louise Searle; Reece Straw; Ian Woods; Veronica Grace Adjei, William Anderson; Laura Achiampong; Simeon Davis; Emily Gee; Angelina Radaković; Rachel Jarvis; Benjamin Cook (Lux Moving Image); Coli Burch (Verve Picture); Nefertiti Oboshie Schandorf.