The Junkyard Museum of Awkward Things

Artist: Dil Humphrey-Umezulike aka Dilomprizulike
Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Year of completion: 2010

The Junkyard Museum of Awkward Things is a project by Nigerian artist Dilomprizulike, aka The Junkman from Afrika.Made twice in Lagos, it was shown at Mostyn in 22 March - 16 October 2010. Junkman (named by the Independent as one of the 50 greatest cultural figures shaping the continent of Africa) spent three months in residence at Mostyn constructing the Junkyard Museum, with materials he found locally while working with children from local schools and groups. Presenting the un-presentable; valuing the worthless; appreciating the depreciated; taking the outcasts inside; embracing the untouchable: this is the Junkyard Museum of Awkward Things as described by its creator, the self-styled Junkman From Africa.

This unique ‘museum’ has been described as a ‘kind of artistic hospital’ in which the discarded object is resuscitated and brought back to a second life as art. As well as touching on ecological issues, the Junkyard Museum of Awkward Things is a reflection on people’s sense of rejection by and isolation in a consumer society which values disposability. The use of discarded materials has particular artistic resonance in Africa, and Dilomprizulike is among the most inventive of those who make their art out of the continent’s detritus.

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The Junkman’s narrative art takes a swipe at the decadence of Africa’s moral fabric. He blames the governments for their ineptitude and mocks the people for their gullibility. Among his kindred souls in the continent, he arguably stands out as the most cerebral and the most acerbic. So far, his renown has earned him invitations to 2006 edition of the Dakar Biennale and the third Guangzhou Triennial in China in 2008, among other events. In 2010, he contrived what he called “Busy Street” for the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art in Israel from local rubbish to reflect Israel’s consumer society.

All copyright belongs to Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.

Progress Agency