PORTLAND, ORE – Beginning August 15th artist Bukola Koiki will present JJC (Journey Just Come) in the Portland Building Installation Space located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland. This four week long exhibition, held in lobby of the Portland Building, is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.
JJC (Journey Just Come) was conceived by Koiki to explore the immigrant experience through pidgin—the simplified form of communication that develops between groups of people that do not have a language in common. As a Nigerian-American immigrant, she is particularly interested in using Pidgin English to explore how this shorthand form of communication affects the experience of immigrants living between cultures.
In Nigeria, a country of over 500 languages, basic communication can be truly daunting at times and pidgin is used to navigate everything from markets to parking lots. To help illustrate how pidgin communication functions Koiki has created a set of brightly colored flags with printed Pidgin English sayings (extracted from the local language in Lagos, Nigeria) that will cover the walls of the Installation Space. The title of the work, JJC (Journey Just Come), is slang that refers to naive newcomers or recent arrivals. The artist’s intent is to inspire conversations about what it means to experience a new culture through an unfamiliar language and to illustrate how the process of making linguistic transitions can both build, and block, mutual understanding.
“The overall effect of this installation will be a kind of magnetic disorientation as one might feel with the visual stimulation of a new city, something that immigrants like myself can definitely understand. As a way of engaging the audience I will be creating a game card that will list translations of the unfamiliar phrases and invite the viewer to match them to the right flag. Visitors can also leave me pidgin phrases and translations of their own.”
About the Artist: Bukola Koiki was born in Lagos, Nigeria and now lives and works in Portland. She came to study art in the United States as a teen through a series of events involving a secondary school classmate and the American Visa Lottery Program. Koiki received her MFA in Applied Craft + Design from Oregon College of Art and Craft and Pacific Northwest College of Art in May of 2015. Her multimedia work explores cultural hybridity and dislocation through the lens of memory, language, and ritual. She has exhibited her work in Oregon, New Jersey, and Tennessee and recently completed artist residencies at c3:initaive + Pulp & Deckle and Rainmaker Artist Residency in Portland.
Viewing Hours & Location: The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in down-town Portland and is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. JJC (Journey Just Come) opens August 15 and runs through September 9, 2016. www.bukolakoiki.com
Meet the Artist: Join us for a chance to meet the artist and discuss her installation on Thursday, August 25th at 4 p.m. in the Portland Building.
The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) manages a 13’ x 8’ installation space in the lobby of the Portland Building. For more information, including images, proposals, and statements for all projects dating back to 1994, go to www.racc.org/installationspace.
Oregon Public Broadcast Think Outloud podcast (8/24/16)
The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through Work for Art; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and oversees a program to integrate arts and culture into the standard curriculum in public schools through The Right Brain Initiative. RACC values a diversity of artistic and cultural experiences and is working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity and the arts. For more information visit racc.org.