The much talked about Eyes exhibition of the latest paintings of artist Hacajaka opened on Thursday last week (November 16) at the Dei Centre, Tesano, Accra, to a large crowd of collectors and critiques.
Many of the attendants who had been at past Hacajaka exhibitions and the new converts to the works of the USA-based Ghanaian born artist were not disappointed by the spectacle of bold colours they were to watch.
Even before, the exhibition opened, privileged collectors who had earlier viewed the works had placed their stamp on works like …Adjovi, a dedication by the artist to his mother who passed on to glory in 2012. And as he pointed out, this dedication though it might be coming late in the day, is his own way of appreciating his mother who was ‘his eyes before he had eyes to see.’
Speaking to the attendants, he said his only regret was that he never did this when his mother was alive to express this love doing so while she is not on this earth to see it with her eyes and therefore asked all to appreciate whomever they love while the person is around them so that person gets to know how much you love them.
Hacajaka, one of Ghana’s crop of artists belonging to the famous Prekese group of artists who in the mid-90s took over the art scene in Ghana like a tsunami, with a special love for including adinkra symbols into their works has in this exhibition proved that he is a creative artist who has not abandoned his ‘roots’ as one could see his signature adinkra symbols all over the paintings done in acrylic and beautifully mounted.
Another dominating motif in the works is the ‘fish’ imagery which the artist freely admitted to as one of the signatures in his works.
‘Many people do not know I am a pastor – a preacher of the word of God – as well and I always want to express my belief in Jesus Christ in my works and that is what the fish symbol is there for.
‘I could have used the cross which is well known in Christendom but the fact is when the gospel was being spread in the early days of the church, when Christians were being persecuted, the believers used the fish as a code to identify themselves and I’m still following the tradition of using the fish,’ he explained.
He also finds the fish symbol very convenient in his paintings as it has lines, circles, triangles and other geometrical shapes which he incorporates in his works. Thus you find, apart from the adinkra symbols, lines and circles especially when he signs off with the bold red circle or dot being an integral part of the signature.
The bold colours, which give life to his paintings seriously places his works among those that must adorn the hallways of royalty and serious and avid collectors and as one of the invitees said, the works on display are ‘awesome’ and ‘breathtaking.’
For works like Family Reunion, ‘The Savannah Fisherman,’ ‘Gospel Bearer’, ‘Ethiopian Eunuch’ and the powerful and irreverent ‘Madonna with the Fish Tatoo’ that were quickly snapped up by collectors, each cedi spent on acquiring any of them is worth it most especially as they are from the brush of Hacajaka, the artist.
There are other art pieces like ‘Two Strings, a Pipe & a Key in the Hands of a Saint’ and ‘Melons’ which if I have my way must be included in my collection of paintings.
The exhibition which began November 14 ends on December 6, 2019.