Zohra Opoku (b. 1976, German/Ghanaian) based in Accra examines political, historical, cultural, and socio-economic influences in the formation of personal identities, particularly in the context of contemporary Ghana. Her practice centers around textiles and traditional Ghanaian dress codes, which have been an inherent part of the country’s identity and industry throughout West Africa’s complex history and serve as vehicles for her to connect to the abstraction of identity in a tangible way.
Opoku's research and explorations have been mostly carried out through the lens of her camera; her photography is expressed via screen-printing and alternative photo processing on varieties of natural fabrics manufactured abroad and distributed in Africa to be re-used as Western Second Hand trade products found on the local market. Additionally, she experiments with new and found wood as well as textiles and garments used in different manifestations of ‘site’-specific installations.
While her work relays social commentary and broad themes relating to the human experience, each of Opoku’s explorations is intimately rooted in personal identity politics. She repeatedly integrates family heirlooms and her own self-image into her visual observations of Ghana’s cultural memory.
Exhibited internationally, Zohra Opoku has shown work in association with Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, Seattle (now Chicago); Broad Art Museum, (Michigan State University); Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Sean Kelly, New York; Gallery 1957, Accra; Nubuke Foundation, Accra; Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos; !Kauru African Contemporary Art, Johannesburg; Kunsthaus Hamburg; Iwalewahaus, Bayreuth; Musée d’ Ethnographie, Bordeaux; Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao; Kunsthal, Rotterdam, and the Insititute of the Arab World, Paris.
Her recent residencies took place at Jan van Eyck Institute Maastricht 2014; Kala Institute Berkeley 2015; Institute Sacatar Salvador da Bahia 2016 and Art Dubai Residents 2018.