Nigerian artist Modupeola Fadugba has been invited to the 2016 Africa Business Conference organized by the Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Scheduled to hold from February 26th – 28th, the theme of the conference is “Unite. Innovate. Disrupt: Homegrown models for Africa’s prosperity.”

Fadugba will present works from her new series “Tagged” created between 2014 to 2016, and will give a short presentation titled “Tagged: The Value of Anything, Everything and Art.” The presentation will be made to a panel of speakers, heads of corporate organizations from Africa and conference guests from around the world.

It is perhaps appropriate that the artworks selected for the business conference examine the concepts of value considering the purpose of such gathering. “I created the Tagged series to explore how art is generally valued by the artist and the buyer, and the underlying emotions from both ends of the chain. The red balls in the series represent the elusive “red dot” on art works indicating they have been marked for sales or sold. The series has however evolved and acquired various interpretations. The red ball speaks of validation far beyond the art world. It now asks a broader question: What do we value as individuals and collectively as a pool of humans?”

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Modupeola Fadugba, Tagged II

Invited panelists include African business leaders in finance, telecommunications, agriculture, media and education. The keynote speakers are His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, Clayton Christensen, Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, Makhtar Diop, Vice President for Africa at the World Bank, Ashish J. Thakkar, Executive Chairman of Mara Sokoni and Founder of Mara Group and Mara Foundation, Khanyi Dhlomo, Founder and CEO of Ndalo Media and Charles Ifedi, CEO of Verve International.

Speaking on her invitation to participate at the conference, Modupeola Fadugba says “I’m honoured by the invitation to present my work. While studying at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2013, I helped organize the education panel, so I’m particularly keen to hear from this year’s education panelists. Not to mention, I get to see Mr. Oreo (Iyanya) himself! I’m a big fan.”

The invitation marks the first time organizers of Africa Business Conference includes an exhibition or the special presence of a visual artist in its program since inception in 2008. We hope this new development shows invited African business leaders the importance and relevance of art to growing the economy of Africa.

Music artists invited are Iyanya from Nigeria, Sakordie from Ghana and DJ Deemaks ‘Damola Makinda’ from Canada.

About The Artist.

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Modupeola Fadugba. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Modupeola Fadugba is a Togo-born Nigerian multi-media artist whose practice includes painting, drawing and installations.

The self-taught artist holds masters degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education, M.Ed. and MA, Economics, and a first degree, Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware, US.

She won Prof. El Anatsui’s Outstanding Production Prize at the 2014 National Art Competition in Nigeria for her interactive installation, The People’s Algorithm. The innovative installation responds to Pan- African problems of unemployment, educational resources, and training through a participatory game that create solutions.

Recognized for her ability to transect multiple disciplines with solution oriented creative works, Modupeola’s work has also been selected for Dakar Art Biennale 2016 in Senegal. Her body of work creates an active dialogue about issues of social justice, identity, education and the use of art as a vehicle for social development and activism. She lives and work in Abuja, Nigeria.

Read our 2015 interview with Modupeola Fadugba here.

Bukola Oye, Art Writer/ Critic