Art in the Diaspora

Christie’s Teams Up with MOWAA to Promote Nigerian Culture Through Art Sales

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Amidst the wave of globalization and a thriving African art scene, Christie’s has joined forces with MOWAA Nigeria to promote the sale of prized African artworks. The collaboration aims to support MOWAA’s ambitious objectives, including the Nigerian Venice Biennale scheduled for 2024.

MOWAA boasts a stellar collection of artists, including Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, Victor Ehikhamenor, Lakwena Maciver, Yinka Shonibare, and Kehinde Wiley. In a conversation with Art Net News, Aindrea Emelife, curator at MOWAA, expressed profound gratitude to both the artists and Christie’s.

The upcoming auction of these artworks is a significant event scheduled for during London’s Frieze week, encompassing Christie’s 20th / 21st Century: London Evening Sale on October 13, 2023, and the Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale on October 14, 2023. Both auctions will be accessible online and in person, offering art enthusiasts a unique opportunity to acquire these remarkable pieces.

YINKA SHONIBARE (B. 1962)-Ballerina with Violin, Swan Lake fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax African cotton textile, globe, violin, and pointe shoes.14.7.3 x 76.2 x 58.1 cm.
Executed in 2013. Image courtesy of Christie’s

“We’re so honored that leading artists understand the importance of MOWAA. This will directly benefit core parts of our mission and creative initiatives from providing critical infrastructure and programming to support contemporary creatives and cultural heritage specialists in West Africa,” she added. “This is not just an opportunity for Africa.”- Aindrea Emelife’s excerpt from Art Net News.

One of the key objectives is the construction of the Benin Creative Hub in Benin City. This transformative project, developed in collaboration with Ajidaye Associates, aims to turn Benin City into a thriving creative hub. Moreover, Benin City will host the Nigerian Venice Biennale in 2024.

TUNJI ADENIYI-JONES (B. 1992). Pattern Makers
screenprint in colors, 2020, on wove paper
508 x 406 mm.Image courtesy of Christie’s

The collaboration with Christie’s accelerates the sale of artworks and leverages Christie’s global reach. This partnership is a significant step towards MOWAA’s goal of fostering creative development, skill enhancement, and progress within the country. As a continent, Africa boasts a rich and diverse community of artists. Providing them access to essential tools and skills is crucial in nurturing the next generation of artistic talent.

It’s truly inspiring to witness MOWAA’s rapid growth as it emerges as a guiding light for young and aspiring artists. Equally commendable is the recognition from established artists who understand the importance of cultural development within the continent. This collaboration underscores the significance of global partnerships in driving cultural advancement worldwide. For more details about the auction, click here.


Rose Mwikali Musyoki is a creative writer from Nairobi, Kenya. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business and Finance from the University of Embu, Kenya, and is the founder of Bloom Inc, an art startup in Kenya. Currently, she works as a writer for Art News Africa.

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