The Artist

Issa Kiemtore is an artist with an extraordinary gift of turning pure bronze into sculptures. Issa Kiemtore is a born artist. The art of bronze has been in the family since the 14th century and was passed on from father to son. The technique never changed.

Bronze art requires a long procedure, which begins with shaping an inspiration into warm flexible bee wax, and it ends with sandpapering, sometimes blackening, and washing of the finished sculpture with fine sand.

Every sculpture of the young artist Issa Kiemtore from Burkina Faso radiates affection and respect for women. Issa Kiemtore sees ‘the female’ as a symbol of life. When we look at the social life, women come first. Every boy has a mother. She is the beginning of life.

All his sculptures are hold ing on to the essence of today’s cultural life in Burkina Faso: Sculptures of women preparing food in the traditional way, mothers cherishing their children, women carrying big bowls on their head.

Through his art he wants to show the life in Burkina Faso. Too often he meets western people whose only image of Africa is a poor, miserable and underdeveloped continent. He wants to show the other side of Africa. Burkina Faso is not an underdeveloped country. We have our own, different way of life. Material welfare is often not very important to people, what is important is the warmth they find with each other. Being happy.

Since 1989, Issa is working with his family through his art at a project for nourishment of children suffering under misfortune. For this reason, the mother Association Zod-Neere was founded in 1993. As of then, a centre to professionalize the art of bronze was established in Sabou, 80 kilometres from the capital Ouagadougou. The entire project will be completed in the near future with the establishment of a similar centre for professional formation and cultural exchange, the CPAEC in Ouagadougou.

The name Zod Neere has been chosen because this means: the benefits of friendship. Today, the Association Zod Neere, and its daughter foundation Zod Neere Netherlands work in real friendship closely together to improve the standard of living for local young people. lt is the wish and strong desire of both organizations to use bronze art, the heritage of the ancestors of Issa, for development of his country. His bronze art, and the funds raised through the sale of separate pieces, will form the base for the new centre in Ouagadougou. Youngsters will be given the opportunity to develop their skilis in bronze art, batik, informaties, and will learn to be a weaver, tailor, carpenter, bricklayer, tanner, shoemaker, or driver.

All these activities for art, formation, various professions and cultural exchange will bring many more chances for success and social integration for young people from our country and elsewhere in the world.

Issa Kiemtore had exhibitions in France, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany.