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Bank ABC sets up new landmark sculpture in Bahrain

MANAMA, December 11, 2019

Mena’s leading international bank, Bank ABC, has announced the creation and permanent installation of ‘The Face’, a visual centrepiece of the façade of its newly renovated historic twin tower headquarters in Bahrain, by celebrated Nigerian-American contemporary artist Victor Ekpuk.

The 5.4-m-tall sculpture is an abstract construct that is a tribute to Bahrain’s rich heritage, multi-cultural fabric and hospitable business climate, which empowered the bank and the kingdom’s other residents to grow and flourish over the years, said a statement from ABC.

Bank ABC is undergoing an ambitious transformation as an institution; investing heavily in its digital infrastructure, developing new products and services and adopting a more agile and disruptive culture.

On the significance of the sculpture for the bank, Group CEO Dr Khaled Kawan said: "After reflecting on our 40-year journey as the Bahrain banking industry celebrates its 100 years this month, and to commemorate the renovation of our HQ building, we commissioned Ekpuk to create this unique and majestic art piece that cleverly connects our heritage and future aspirations."

"The Face will outlive business cycles and peoples’ tastes and remain an eternal tribute to Bahrain and its people," he stated.

Embodying local Bahraini elements, African influences, futuristic digital touch, and a contemporary artistic style, ‘The Face’ is representative of Bank ABC’s commitment to equality and diversity as well as its firm belief in the strong potential of the country’s young talent, who will advance its agenda to create positive change in the Mena region through disruptive banking solutions that accelerate inclusion and enhance lifestyles.

Bank ABC hosted a reception at its head office on December 11 in celebration of the sculpture and its creator. The function was attended by members of the local art community, Bank ABC staff and media representatives.

“How do you capture the essence of a people whose history is long and culture layered in centuries of civilizations? You look to their beautiful faces hoping to catch the essence of their memory,” remarked Ekpuk, who was present at the event.

Ekpuk’s art is guided by the aesthetic philosophy nsibidi “traditional” graphics, where sign systems are used to convey ideas.

The Nigerian-American artist, who works from his studio in Washington, D.C, is renowned for glyph-like paintings and drawings that are inspired by the aesthetic concepts of indigenous African writing systems and graphic symbols from diverse cultures.

Ekpuk's work frequently explores the human condition, drawing upon a wide spectrum of meaning that is rooted in African and global contemporary art discourses.

He re-imagines graphic symbols from diverse cultures to form a personal style of mark making that results in an interplay of art and writing. His art is focused on portraying the human condition through universally relatable and culture specific themes including family, gender, politics, and identity.

Ekpuk has works in collections of Smithsonian National museum of African Art, Smithsonian National museum of African American Culture & History, Brooks Museum, The World Bank, Newark Museum, Hood Museum, Krannert Art Museum, United States Art in Embassies Art Collection.-TradeArabia News Service




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