publication date 6-3-2018

Em’kal Eyongakpa receives Henrike Grohs Art Award

Rijksakademie alumnus Em’kal Eyongakpa (born 1981 in Mamfe, Cameroon) is the first recipient of the Henrike Grohs Art Award, conceived by the Goethe-Institut and the Grohs family. He will be awarded with a € 20.000 cash prize on 13 March 2018 in Abidjan.

The jury states: “The jury unanimously awards the inaugural Henrike Grohs Art Award to Em’kal Eyongakpa for his poetic, subtle and subjective approach. His work expresses universal concerns of humanity. The multidisciplinary stance of his practice that includes knowledge derived from science, ethnobotany, magical realism, experimentation and utopia, aptly responds to the core values of the Henrike Grohs Art Award.”

The Henrike Grohs Art Award is a biennial prize dedicated to artists who are living and working in Africa and practicing in the field of visual arts. It recognises the lifetime achievements of the former Head of the Goethe-Institut in Abidjan, Henrike Grohs, who was killed on 13 March 2016 in a terrorist attack in Grand-Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire.

Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, President of the Goethe-Institut: “We have not only lost a highly esteemed and beloved colleague in Henrike Grohs but also a person who carried hope into the world with her beliefs and actions. Therefore, it is of particular importance to link the memory of Henrike Grohs to a viewpoint that reflects her work and desires. This has come to fruition in the prize, as it promotes the cause of Henrike Grohs: To support African creative artists and make a contribution towards international dialogue. I would like to congratulate the first prize winner Em’kal Eyongakpa with whom, after an intensive selection process, the judges have made an excellent choice.”

Jury members

- Koyo Kouoh (Artistic Director, RAW Material Company, Dakar)
- Laurence Bonvin (artist and representative of the Grohs family, Berlin)
- Raphael Chikukwa (Chief Curator, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare)
- Simon Njami (Curator, Paris)

More information

Em'kal Eyongakpa
Henrike Grohs Award