Inspired by Kente cloth traditionally woven on men’s treadle looms by the Asante people of Ghana, my mixed-media works explore the potential of textiles to communicate the complexities of the diaspora: separation, fear, rejection, love, nostalgia, racism, and appropriation. These sculptures are my visual vocabulary for discussing the experience of entering and leaving the diaspora. Thoughts of my family, conversations with them, and their pain due to my absence influence the names of my works.
Through the repetitive processes of molding, weaving and assembling, I reconstruct fragile Kente in ceramic to preserve its potent revered symbolism, while reflecting on my twenty months as a separated father and husband.
Japheth Asiedu-Kwarteng is a Ceramic and Mixed-Media artist. He holds a BA Industrial Art (Ceramics option) from KNUST and an MFA ’22 from Illinois State University. Japheth is member of NCECA and Artaxis, and a fellow of Multicultural Fellowship, NCECA, Lela Winegarner Fellowship (ISU) and Baber Fellowship (ISU). His works has been exhibited in several exhibitions including 2021 NCECA Annual and Multicultural Fellowship exhibitions, respectively. He was a presenter at 2021 NCECA Conference. His works are largely inspired by traditional Ghanaian symbolism, and discuss the experiences of the diaspora.