By Iminza Keboge
Published March 9, 2016
A leading promoter of African art and culture is expected to tour Kenya and speak about his work in late March 2016.
Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon, from Nigeria, is scheduled to address practitioners and lovers of art at Kuona Trus Art Centre and Nairobi Gallery on March 22 and 23, respectively.
The organisers of the tour say the art collector shall address the gathering at Kuona outside Nairobi CBD on ‘The Tension between the artist as creator and cultural preserver and the need for Commercial success.’
The following afternoon, he will speak on ‘African Culture as the Basis of our future societal and economic progress’ at Nairobi Gallery in the Nairobi City Centre.
The trip is organised by National Museums of Kenya and Herman Bigham & Associates.
“Omooba Shyllon is widely acknowledged as the leading promoter of Nigerian art and culture and the largest private collector of visual art in Nigeria. He is reputed to own the most balanced art collection with more than 7,000 sculptures, paintings and other media, besides more than 55,000 photographic shots of Nigeria’s fast disappearing cultural festivals,” the hosts say.
“Omooba Shyllon’s collection ranges from traditional and modern to contemporary art, ” the hosts say of their guest whom they describe as a ‘legal practitioner, chartered engineer, marketer, [and] stock broker/investment analyst’.
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Saying that he “has presented many lectures on various topics in museums and universities around the world,” the hosts say Omooba Shyllon brings scholars, curators and art historians from outside Nigeria to study his art collection, research into Nigerian art and culture and interact with Nigerian art collectors, scholars and artists every year.
Omooba Shyllon operates under an organisation called Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF). The website of the organisation says it is a ‘non-profit organization established in 2007 to promote the appreciation and study of Nigerian art and artists, making the collection globally available to museums, educational institutions and scholars.’
The aim of OYASAF being to promote awareness and appreciation of African art, the not-for-profit oganisation stocks a large collection of paintings and sculptures, covering traditional, neo-traditional, modern and contemporary bronze, stone, wood, metal, glass fibre, recycled material, textile and photographs of Nigeria’s fast disappearing cultural festivals.
Omooba Shyllon says he is “the sole sponsor of the annual University of Lagos / OYASAF Art Entrepreneurship Workshop, aimed at encouraging and training Nigeria’s young and budding artists in art entrepreneurship, materials and methods.”
“Since 2012, a Professorial chair in visual art has been endowed by him, in the name of ‘PrinceYemisi Shyllon’ at the University of Port-Harcourt in Nigeria and is pioneering the establishment of a global on-line art journal for Africa, with the effort of a board of seasoned Professors and academics from Europe, USA and Africa,” the OYASAF website says.