‘What is more astonishing to me, is the fact of seeing all these objects and things thrown away as rubbish. For me this is an opportunity to learn but also to show that, apart from our material difficulties and the lack of infrastructure related to artistic creativity, one could get inspiration from tradition and create contemporary artistic works with less means.’
A member of a blacksmith family which, for many generations, has been working with all kinds of metals, Saliou Traore (1965) first exhibited his works at the Ouagadougou International Fair for Handicrafts. He went on to use all kinds of materials and is presently working with ‘found objects’. ‘This is an important approach for me, in terms of ecological and economical issues, because of the very low costs.’ Traore’s work reflects scenes of everyday life, and sometimes fugitive images that he tries to seize, to stop the time. Traore has been living in Ouagadougou since 1993.
At the end of 1999, Alassane Drabo and Saliou Traoré spent two months in Amsterdam on invitation by the Thami Mnyele foundation. During their stay in Amsterdam, Drabo together with Saliou Traore arranged the design and layout of two rooms in Hotel Winston (Amsterdam). Both artists were fascinated by the similarities between artistic traditions of the Netherlands and Burkina Faso, such as the patterns and colours of Amsterdam canal houses that can be seen on certain masks of Burkina Faso. Alassane and Saliou are friends and worked together on a wall project decoration at Ouagadougou airport.
Saliou Traore lives in the netherlands