Don’t underestimate the power of Lego Blocks. Well, believing in this ethos is Ghanaian-Canadian artist Ekow Nimako who has recently created a futuristic reimagination of an ancient, bustling west African trade hub merely out of black Lego pieces.
Comprising 100,000 blocks in all, the Afrofuturistic cityscape is called Kumbi Saleh 3020. The awe-inspiring structure is inspired by the medieval kingdom of Ghana and pays homage to the city’s eminent past.
Commenting on it, Nimako said, ‘In both concept and aesthetic, the piece represents an uninterrupted, uncooped narrative of black civilizations that seeks to reclaim histories, reconcile ancestral traumas, and imagine liberated futures for all African peoples.’
He further added, ‘The Afrofuturistic sculpture is situated within the genre’s celebration and reimagination of a blackness that is not constructed against the backdrop of enslavement, colonization, and violence. the use of LEGO as a sculptural medium further evokes a futuristic aesthetic to capture architectural forms and elements from the natural world, transcending the medium’s geometric form.’
It is the last part of the artist’s famed ‘Building black’ sculpture series and is currently with the Aga Khan Museum. It will be displayed in spring when the museum is slated to reopen. A monotone Lego artwork better than this is yet to be seen – don’t you agree?