Kofi Amponsha, "Kente Nwen Toma", 2000-2002, Traditional Kente Loom, Strips of woven Kente cloth, interactive virtual environment.

“Kente Nwen Toma”, 2000-2002, Traditional Kente Loom, Strips of woven Kente cloth, interactive virtual environment.

Kofi Amponsha

Kofi Amponsah, an artist and educator from Ghana, lives in Albany, NY and is currently working on his doctoral thesis at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York (RPI). Kofi presents an interactive installation that merges the 5′ x 4′ physical hardwood loom that he brought from Africa, along with an interactive spatial narrative containing photographs of his native land. He views the use of digital technologies as integral to stimulating, promoting, and preserving the traditional African art form of weaving “Kente” cloth, whose origins trace back to ancient West African kingdoms which flourished between 300 A.D and 1600 A.D. In Kente Nwen Toma (Kente Woven Cloth) we are the observer and also the observed caught in the process of observation. Jonathan Crary points out in his seminal text, “Techniques of the Observer”, that previous stereographic viewing of a location creates an immediate apparent tangibility and even the sense of déjà vu when later experiencing the physical place itself. In Kente Nwen Toma we have a visual and also spatial beginning of what may be in store when we do touch base in Ghana.

In addition to his artwork and studies, Kofi Amponsah runs his own design firm in Albany, NY. Prior to his move to the Capital region, Kofi received his BA at the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, and continued on to earn another degree at the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science.