Considered to be the preeminent Ghanian coffin maker of his generation, Paa Joe fabricates figurative coffins in the shape of spectacular objects. Following a tradition of burial rituals and artistic crafts in Ghana, these fantasy coffins are typically modelled in the image of kitsch consumer objects such as cars, sneakers, and cameras, as well as animals such as lions, fish, eagles, and chickens. These forms represent the aspirations and values of their intended users, and correspond to the individual’s concept of an afterlife.
Having single-handedly dedicated himself to the intensive craft of coffin-making for many years, Paa Joe now collaborates with his son, Jacob Tetteh-Ashong, who follows in the family tradition. Paa Joe’s work has been exhibited at Centre Pompidou in Paris, France; the British Museum in London, UK; the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; and the Brooklyn Museum in New York, USA, among others.