“Fantasy” coffins are made by a small group of craftsmen in Ghana. Coffins are made in the shape of the thing that best symbolizes the deceased’s profession in life. All images courtesy Paa Joe and Elisabeth Efua Sutherland, “One does not take it anywhere,” Gallery 1957 II, Accra, 21 November 2017 – 10 February 2018, gallery1957.com
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Fantasy coffins from Ghana were first exhibited to a large Western audience at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris in 1989. The coffins were made by Kane Kwei and his assistant Paa Joe, who is now one of Ghana’s prominent fantasy coffin makers.
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Working with visual and performance artist Elisabeth Efua Sutherland, Paa Joe is exhibiting fantasy coffins at Gallery 1957 II, Accra, Ghana, from November 2017 to February 2018.
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Sutherland and Paa Joe both come from coastal societies and hope to engage with water-inspired coffins through the exhibition.
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Sutherland will be performing with some other artists during the exhibition. They will use traditional costumes to re-enact funeral ceremonies in Paa Joe’s and Sutherland’s local communities.
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