Aboubakar Fofana is dedicated to exploring and preserving the traditions of fermenting indigo dye practiced throughout West Africa. Returning to his native Mali after training in calligraphy, Fofana remembered a plant he had seen as a child whose green leaves, when crushed, stained the fingers blue. He embarked on a journey through the region in hope of finding anybody who could train him, but the skill had been replaced by chemical dyestuff. The artist then used colonial-era ethnographic texts recounting the fermentation process to launch his practice and revive this art.
Selected recent group shows include Ravelled Threads, Sean Kelly Gallery, New York (2018); documenta 14, Athens and Kassel (2017); Cloth and Clay – Musing on Land and Material Culture, Kim Sacks Gallery, Johannesburg (2012).