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Digital Art Studio: Techniques for Combining Inkjet Printing with Traditional Art Materials
Nkanea Perseverance
Justice Great Fortress
Nsaa Wisdom Knot
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Learn about our other concurrent exhibit: Digital Art Studio

Cross Cultural Design:
Integration of African and Western Cultural Visual Vocabulary

Ida Kumoji

Ida Kumoji, ’01, began exploring her cultural heritage of Ghana, Africa, first as an undergraduate studio art major at the College of St. Catherine; as a graduate student in the Masters of Fine Arts program at the University of Minnesota, Duluth she became very focused on the synergy between her culture and Western culture and how to express that through graphic art.  This series of posters in Cross Cultural Design are based on Adinka symbols (visual representation of social thought relating to the history, philosophy and religious beliefs of the Akan people of Ghana and the Ivory Coast) and Western alphabets to create a visual language for cross cultural understanding.  She states:

As a graphic designer and an artist, I am trying to create a new medium, by introducing elements from different cultures.  This integration respects both languages, and the new language that is created maintains the forms of each respective culture. I am communicating the idea of the symbol.  The clear, objective forms of Univers make this a legible font suitable for recreating of the Adinkra symbols.  As the Adinkra symbols were originally stamped in cloth, the repetition of alphabets to form these symbols brings the concept of the stamping from ancient craft to modern times and the world of multimedia.

Ida goes on to say that, “using the repetition of Univers letterforms to recreate Adinkra symbols shows the integration of Western typeface and African symbol as one unit.”  And by integrating Adinkra symbols with the Western alphabet into a new visual medium she provides “a new meeting place for both cultures.”

Installation Photo

Ida’s work is not only strikingly beautiful it is very thoughtful and I would encourage the visitor to take their time to look at each poster carefully.  Look at the layers of visual elements that create the whole…the beauty of each poster exists both on the surface and deep within the content of the symbols represented.

Learn about our other concurrent exhibit: Digital Art Studio