The Finland-based Zambian artist Baaba Jakeh Chande will dress up the linden trees outside Kiasma. The environmental piece draws attention to the presence of trees in the urban space and encourages us to look at a familiar place in a new way.
What made you to start performance art?
I’ve always had interest to directly interact with the public and performance has the potential to attract curiosity. It is also the kind of art not well known in my local community and I aim to enlighten and encourage others especially young, up and coming artists to take up the challenge and set to use the medium to say what they want to say without much restrictions
How have you experienced your possibilities as an artist in Finland?
I’ve been happy to get to know Finnish performance artists, like Roi Vaara, and to participate into various events. Hopefully one day we can host Finnish performance artists in Zambia. On the other hand, however, one could say that I’m still a kind of outsider as to the Finnish art world, if one considers points like being a member of an artist association, having grants, exhibiting in galleries or having a clientele.
And what about now?
In my recent work, I’m developing concepts in the areas of live art and performance and site specific installation, sometimes a combination of the two. This in a way is influenced by change, the contrasts and similarities I encounter in the two lifestyles I have, Zambian and Finnish. I use materials that are directly connected to daily human life to evoke memories around personal or collective histories, tragedies and hopes. My body and dreadlocks are the embodiment of my life but I also use them as framework for transfiguration and identity, to explore or play with notions and perceptions that transcend cultural boundaries.