"My name is Samuel Ashong. My life as an artist was augured in primary school when I took great delight in copying or tracing pictures and other childish artworks. Even though childish, these tracings were...
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"My name is Samuel Ashong. My life as an artist was augured in primary school when I took great delight in copying or tracing pictures and other childish artworks. Even though childish, these tracings were done to precision. In college I majored in the arts, specializing in textiles and sculpture. After my university education, I joined the Arts Council of Ghana from 1986 to date.
Currently I have developed my own techniques in batik production, which are labeled as "textile paintings." Reactive dyes and paraffin wax constitute the principal materials in the execution of these textile paintings. My aim was to use other materials apart from oil paints, gouache, acrylics etc., to achieve the same or better effects than would be derived in paintings. The results have been marvelous and my works could not be compared with other batiks that are seen world-wide.
"My themes are mainly of women, beach scenes and landscapes. I try to depict the daily activities of women in Africa when they get married - household chores, market life and caring for children and husbands - as the many parts of their daily responsibilities. This is the beginning of the fight for equality for the African woman.
"I have exhibited my works in the Ghanaian Contemporary Art Exhibition, IFA Gallery (Bonn, Germany, 1987), the World Y.W.C.A Art and Craft Exhibition (Arizona, 1989), the Ghanaian Contemporary Art Exhibition (Moscow, 1991) as well as throughout Ghana."
Ashong first paints his design onto cotton fabric with hot wax, covering the areas he does not wish to dye. When the fabric is crumpled into the dying solution, the wax cracks, creating an attractive network of fine lines. The wax is removed and the process is repeated for each color utilized.