Serge Olivier Fokoua

[Photo by Jelili Atiku]

Serge Olivier Fokoua (b.1976, Cameroon) lives and works between Cameroon and Gatineau, Canada. He received his artistic training at the University of Yaounde, and through workshops organized by Renc'art studio of the Yaounde Spanish Embassy. He also attended advanced training on cultural management in Institut für Kultur Konzept in Hamburg, Germany.

Working mainly in installation and performance, Serge Olivier Fokoua’s work has been presented in numerous art exhibitions, performance events, and projects in Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal, France, Germany, Japan, Poland, Canada and Finland. In 2011, he presented his work at le Lieu Centre en art actuel (Québec City), and le Grave (Victoriaville). In 2013, he was awarded a residency fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center (USA).

Fokoua is a co-founding member of Les Palettes du Kamer collective and since 2008 he has been the Artistic Director of the Biennale RAVY: Yaoundé Visual Art Encounters (www.ravyfestival.org). Since 2006 he has been a member of IC Zone, an international network of festivals and art centres and has invited over 20 artists and international curators to Cameroon. Currently, he is actively working on multiple platforms for artistic exchange between Cameroon and several countries.


I make art to challenge those who came, did not understand anything, returned to their misery paradise and still do not understand anything. I make art to revive the consciousness of those who have never learned anything from history. How can people go to a contemporary art exhibition and return with the soul always so empty? To me, contemporary art began by a movement of revolt, and despair. More the society is appalling, more art is abstract.

The fact that I leave painting and do more installations and performances does not constitute a breach, but it’s a need and a normal evolution in my artwork. My installations are made of objects assembled to achieve a collide effect. I speak about human relationships, tradition, love, spirituality, nature, life... I express an inner world, emotions through colors, lines, forms or objects used as real models. Very often, I use items diverted from their initial use to be integrated where audience is awaiting the least, to assume a new meaning and causing a controversy and shock to the audience. My favourite items are kitchen materials, or recovery equipment. Sometimes I introduce myself physically as a dynamic element of my artwork. Then the installation passes the baton to the performance. My installations and performances are mostly created site specific. They are rooted in space and time. They have a direct relationship with the location, the field and my personal sensibility. I work with nature and environmental elements such as light, soil, plants, water and wind. My installations and performances are oriented to another fantasy world, but very real in my own way. I am looking for the absolute vacuum to achieve a fully expressive silence. I no longer name, I express... To me the whole expression is beauty, even that this expression is harmonious or discordant, since it results from an inner need, it is beauty.

List of Works