Born 1962, Porto Novo, Benin
Lives and works in Porto Novo, Benin

Romuald Hazoumé, who is of Yoruba origin, grew up in a Catholic family, but remained in contact with the Vodun society of his forbears; this dual cultural heritage finds expression in both his masks and installations. In the mid-1980s, he began an extended series of works made from discarded plastic containers, and in particular from gasoline canisters. After slight modifications, these objects became masks which subtly reveal Hazoumé’s critical vision of political systems. He has said of his work: “I send back to the West that which belongs to them, that is to say, the refuse of consumer society that invades us every day.”

Hazoumé’s masks conform more to the recovery of their materials than to Yoruba traditions; however, there are also important links with this heritage. He has said about his masks that he sees them “exiting” or “departing.” “Exiting” the masks, explains the Mali scholar Youssouf Tata Cissé, means that they “recapitulate all the stages of creation.” For example, one of the most important masks in Bambara rituals is the “Whirlwind” mask. It stands for the primordial whirlwind that governed the emergence of life. Hazoumé’s Zanzibrrrrace (2003) suggests a parallel reading and illustrates how the artist draws on the vocabulary of the initiated to give character to his creations. What distinguishes Hazoumé’s assemblages is that they are also specifically tied to his vision of society and global problems. Unlike the traditional masks which tended to strip the wearer of his personality, Hazoumé’s expose the wearer’s true nature. Indeed, his masks can be understood as a modern reinterpretation of the phenomena of trances, revealing without reserve the madness of current events. Hazoumé has extended these themes in his most recent works, monumental installations which address the history of slavery and the present practices of the black market.

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2006
La bouche du roi, Paris, France, Musée du quai Branly
ARTicle 14, Liverpool World Museum, Liverpool, UK

2002
Romuald Hazoumé
Centre Culturel Français de Turin
Turin, Italy

1990-1991
Masques Bidons II
National Museum.
Accra, Ghana.
Cultural French Center - Lagos, Nigeria- Bamako, Mali
- Dakar, Sénégal
- Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.
K.G. du KunstmuseumBonn, Germany.
Museum der Franziskaner de Werl.
Germany.

1990
Africain Forum
Heidelberg, Germany.

1989
Masques Bidons I Cultural French Center
Cotonou, Benin.
French-Nigerian Cultural Center Niamey, Niger.

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2007
The Shadow of Slave trading on Contemporary Art and Design, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 20 February - 17 June 2007

2006
“100% Africa », Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain, Oct 2006- Feb. 2007
De ida y vuelta. África. Madrid, Spain. La Casa Encendida, March 31 – June 11.
Catalogue : Danielle Tilkin, et al.
«Snap Judgements»: New positions in Contemporary African Photography, -International Center of Photography, NewYork USA. -Miami Art Central, Floride, USA

2005/2006

African Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection.
Washington DC, U.S.A. National Museum of African Art,
Smithsonian Institution, DC
November 18, 2005 - February 26, 2006
Houston, U.S.A.: Museum of Fine Arts Houston, January 8-June 8, 2005.
Catalogue: André Magnin, Alison de Lima Greene, et al.

2005
Arts of Africa
Grimaldi Forum
Monaco - France

2005
African Art Now : Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection
Museum of Fine Art Houston
Houston - USA

2004 (travelling exhibition)
Africa Remix
Art contemporain d’un continent

  • 24 July 2004 – 7 Nov 2004
    Museum Kunst Palast
    Düsseldorf - Germany
  • 10 Feb 2005 – 17 April 2005
    Hayward Gallery
    London – England
  • 15 May 2005 – 20 Aug 2005
    Centre Georges Pompidou
    Paris – France
  • Feb – May 2006
    Mori Art Museum
    Tokyo
2003
ARMOUR: The fortification of man
Fort Asperen Biennal - Holland

2003
Magic Markers: Objects of Transformation

  • Des Moines Art Center
    Des Moines, Iowa - USA
  • Musée Bellerive
    Zurich - Switzerland
  • Musée d’ac de
    Lausanne – Switzerland
2003
Correspondances Afriques
Iwalewa-Haus
Afrikanzentrum der Universität Bayreuth
Bayreuth - Allemagne

2003
"Alles Abfall?" Recycling im Design
Musée Bellerive
Zurich - Suisse
Musée d’ac de Lausanne
Lausanne - Suisse

2002
Œil pour œil
Le Rectangle Centre d’Art Contemporain
Lyon - France

2002
African Market
Ivan Dougherty Gallery
University of NSW
Sydney – Australie

2002
40 ans : Fluxus und die Folgen
Wiesbaden – Germany

2001
TRADE
Fotomuseum Winterthur
Winterthur – Switzerland

2001
Lost & Found
New York - USA

2001
XXXVeme Prix International d’Art contemporain de Monte-Carlo
Monaco – France

2001
TRADE
Nederlands Fotos Institut
Roterdam – Holland

2000
Art Basel 2000
Galerie Art & Public
Bâle - Switzerland

2000
This earth is a flower, construction in Process VII
Bydgoszcz – Pologne

2000
D’sign
Galerie Dany Keller
Munich – Germany

2000
Dinge in der kunst des XX. Jahrhunderts.
Haus der Kunst
Munich – Germany

2000
Lyon Biennal.
Lyon, France.

2000
Sieben Hügel
Martin-Gropius-Bau
Berlin, Germany.

2000
Kwangju Biennal.
South-Korea.

1999
Liverpool Biennal.
Liverpool, Great-Britain.

1998
7. Triennale der Kleinplastik
Stuttgart, Germany.

1998
The brigge CiPVI
The Bridge
Melbourn, Australia.

1997
Lumière Noire
Tanlay Art Center
Tanlay Castle, France.

1997
Havana Biennal
Havana, Cuba.

1995/1996
An Inside story : African Art of our time
Setagaya Art Museum
Tokyo, Japan.
Tokoshima Modern Art MuseumTokoshima, Japon.
Himeji City Museum of Art
Himeji, Japon.
Koriyama City Museum of Art
Koriyama, Japon.
Marujame Inokuma-Genichiro
Museum of Contemporary Art Japan.
The Museum of Fine Arts
Gufu, Japon.

1995
orientATION - Istanbul Biennal
Istanbul, Turkey.

1995
Africus.
Johannesburg Biennal, South Africa.

1993
Second sight
Northern Center for Contemporary Art.
Sunderland, Great-Britain
Newlyn Orlon Gallery.
Comwall, Great-Britain
The Orchard Gallery.
Dervy, Irland.

1993
La grande Vérité, les Astres Africains
Nantes Fine Arts Museum, France.

1992
Out of Africa
Saatchi gallery
London, Great-Britain

1990
Night of Art
Helsinki, Finland.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

2005
African Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection
Exhibition catalogue. Published by Merrell.

2004
Africa Remix
Exhibition catalogue. Published by Hatje Cantz.

2003
View on Colour : The colour forecasting book – Issue N° 24 (June)
”Armour”. United Publishers S.A.

2003
Magic makers objet of transformation
Catalogue ; Des moines Art Center

2002
Zeitgenössische Kunst Aus Afrika 14.
Kunster aus Côte d’Ivoire und Benin
Romuald Hazoumé p.144-157 interview
Publication: Bohlau Wien, Editeur: Thomas Fillitz, 408 pages. Texte en Allemand.

2002
40 JAHRE ; Fluxus und die Folgen
Exhibition catalogue. Kunstsommer Wiesbaden 2003

2002
Trade
Waren, wege, und werte im welthandel heute catalogue Fotomuseum Winterthur

2002
œil pour œil
Exhibition catalogue. Le ,rectangle centre d’art contemporain de la ville de Lyon.

2002
Romuald Hazoumé
p.144-157 interview .Publication: Bohlau Wien, Editeur: Thomas Fillitz, 408 pages. Texte en Allemand.

2002
Zeitgenössische Kunst Aus Afrika
14. Kunster aus Côte d’Ivoire und Benin
Romuald Hazoumé p.144-157 interview
Publication: Bohlau Wien, Editeur: Thomas Fillitz, 408 pages. Texte en Allemand.

2001
Facing up to the paste
Page fine Art XXIII texte :Anglais de frits Bless

2001
Dinge in der kunst des XX jahrunderts
Exhibition catalogue. Haus de kunst Mûnchen.

2001
Partage d’Exotisme
Exhibition catalogue for 5ème Biennale de Lyon

2000
The Bridge :Construction in process VI
Exhibition catalogue edited by Richard Thomas

2000
Perspectives sur l’art contemporain Africain
Pages 107-115 texte de JoelleBusca

2000
Sieben hûgel VII
Trâumen page 054 –055 texte en Allemand de Sabine Vogel

2000
Man-space
Exhibition catalogue published for the Kwangju biennale.

1999
Romuald Hazoumé
Océanique, la revue de la coopération française au Bénin.

1999
Romuald hazoumé " Vor Sicht " by Peter Volkwein.
Exhibition catalogue, Städtische Galerien Ingolstadt. Bilingual text: German, French.

1998
7. Triennale der Kleinplastik
Zeitgenössische Skulptur. Exhibition Catalogue
Europa Afrika: Romuald Hazoumé by André Magnin. Text in German.

1998
Benin, Benin Tussen Gisteren Morgen . Romuald Hazoumé by Frits Bless.
Exhibition catalogue, Van Reekum Museum, Apeldoorn. Text in German.

1997
Sexta Bienal de La Habana el individuo y su memoria
Catalogue AFAA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

1996
Contemporary Art of Africa. Romuald Hazoumé by André Magnin, p.132-133.
Edited by André Magnin & Jacques Soulillou. Text in English.
Published by Harry N. Abraams.

1996
An Inside Story : African Art of Our Time.
Romuald hazoumé by Mieko Yoshihara.
Edited by Yukiya Kawaguchi, Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo.
Bilingual texts: Japanese, English.

1995
Romuald Hazoumé by André Magnin.
Istanbul 4th Biennal. Text in English.