It was a rare moment at the National museum, Onikan, Lagos when three visual artists showcased their collections in an art exhibition.
Tagged ‘Tokunbo’, the exhibition which held on 30th of December, 2017, attracted the presence of dignitaries like leading Africa Arts Collector, Prince Yemisi Shyllon, Kola Abiola, Lanre Adisa of Noah’s Ark, Mr Adewunmi Fawehinmi, Mrs Bukky Asehinde, CEO of Bellafricana.com and hubby, Mr Tobi Asehinde.
Abayomi Lami, who is a student of Law at Lancaster University, had unique paintings Queen Idiat, Fela, Sango, the Yoruba god of thunder and one with theme Obinrin. Kamal Adisa, a student of Communication Design from Parson School of Design, New York, made us of different paintings on Ankara fabric canvas. 17 year-old Simisola Babalola who clinched the 2017 Best Female Photographer award at the Nigeria Teens Choice Award NTCA, showcased unique visual images of an old house at Epetedo, a motor park at Ojodu-Berger and other printed images.
Dr Yemisi Shyllon who graced the occasion saluted the bravery of Abayomi Lami for starting early at age twenty years old, to showcase his artistic endowment. He also commended Lami’s father, Tunji Abayomi SAN, a reputable human activist, for allowing his son to develop this skill.
“I am very happy to be here as I was supposed to have travelled but the invitation of Tunji Abayomi made me change my mind and I’m glad I did. Lami is a courageous young lad and I am pleased that he is treading my path. I started collecting arts materials in 1976 as a student of civil engineering at the University if Ibadan. Being on scholarship from two states, this afforded me the opportunity to use part of the money to buy those materials and I also invested in shares at that early period. My friends and colleagues thought I was mad and using those artifacts as spiritual items to pass my courses (general laughter). I also gathered arts materials paying for them, when I went to make use of library of Yabatech and there, I saw
student demonstration works of years ago and I gathered them, from Mokola and everywhere I found that enthralling.
“Now I have over 7000 arts collections of different genres. I am about to retire and am happy the young ones like Abayomi Lamiwa, Kamal Adisa and the young lady, Simi are taking over. The beauty of arts is that you will be known all over the world like Fela and his music. Though he is late since twenty years ago but his music is still everywhere whereas his brother, Professor of Health, Olikoye Ransome Kuti, is not as popular as Fela,” says Prince Shyllon.
Lami whose paintings is inspired by his environment, experiences studying abroad and his African root said, Tokunbo was an avenue to let artistic expressions show the present state of Nigeria, humanity and the need to embrace the arts, allowing our youths to unhindered in expressing themselves.
Some of the works like Sango painting, a painting depicting our national heroes done by Lami and a painting of a typical Lagos motor-parks among others, were already being negotiated and at the point of being sold. Indeed, the one-day ‘Tokunbo’ Arts Exhibition lived up to expectation.