Yao is a Franco-Togolese artist of Togolese origin. Hailing from the village of Tomégbé about 6 miles from the town of Badou along the Ghanaian border in western Togo. Locally recognized for its cocoa and coffee farming community, it is also a popular tourist area due to the breathtaking waterfalls found here. The village of Tomégbé is home to the Akposso people. Historians believe the Akposso people came from the biblically referenced ancient city of Nineveh located in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). As a celebration of Akposso heritage and ancestry, annually the country celebrates “Ovazu” which is a festival celebrating family and community.
Inspired by African traditions, Yao uses a blend of movements from the past with a rhythm of today in his works. At his core is an impulse to create art that defines a harmony between things, beings, and spirits. Yao represents the life and culture that is a mirror of an invisible world. He looks to question society and propose a new vision beyond morality and ordinary modes of deductive reasoning that may be frozen in conventional forms.
In his own words: “I look to push my artistry to a level of excellence and leave to the next generations the conditions for an emergence of powerful and innovative art that can move the world forward. Through my artistic approach, I want to create a new aesthetic based off philosophical perspectives and sociological research. I have exhibited internationally, and my works are on loan around the world. As a result, I feel that I represent the link between contemporary artists and the New Africa — I hope to demystify what it means to be an African Artist through my strength and creativity. The experience of creation is divine. As a recipient of this divine gift, it bequeaths life into me in the form of a miracle. Each breath taken vivifies my spirit to create and go further.”