Yakhya Ba

Born in Senegal in 1972. Lives and works in Dakar. 

 “The purpose of my art is to lift the veil of appearances that prevents us from seeing clearly and to refocus on the goal of our existence: to become better human beings with every day that goes by.”

Philosopher, alchemist, sculptor - with a blow torch and dexterous fingers, Yakhya Ba burns, shapes, kneads, and twists the matter, metamorphosing it into arresting figures. Whether small, life-size or towering over us, standing by themselves or as part of an installation, his sculptures seem ready to resume what they were doing when they were immortalized – throwing a ball, whispering, walking briskly or bending over. We wonder what the artist was feeling as he created them and what emotions they hide or will awaken in us. As we look deeper, we begin to notice the diversity of techniques and materials used, the intricate details, and the superb craftmanship.

Yakhya Ba attended the Conservatoire National de Musique and the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Dakar. Interrupting his art studies, Yakhya took various professional detours before eventually devoting himself entirely to his calling. In 2018, he was part of the official selection for the Pavilion of Senegal at Dak’Art (the Biennale of Contemporary African Art), where he presented Les Tirailleurs, a breathtaking installation with over 200 masks.