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Jean-Baptiste Ngnetchopa’s biography, fact, career, awards, net worth and life story

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Intro Cameroonian woodcarver
Is Artist Wood carver
From Cameroon
Type Arts
Gender male

Jean-Baptiste Ngnetchopa (born 1953) is a Cameroonian woodcarver who was born to a family of traditional woodcarvers from a village of the Bamileke people in Africa. His career as a woodcarver began at the age of sixteen when he entered into a seven-year apprenticeship. He has received no formal education from an institution that is on record. Since the end of his apprenticeship his work has evolved from more traditional Bamileke panels that depicted many aspects of village life into an exploration of, “the relationship among art, power and money” that balances between the worlds of pop-culture and contemporary art.

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The work that has gained him the most attention recently is his series of banknotes from Africa and around the world that have earned him places in international exhibitions and shows like Africa hoy in 1991. The banknotes often utilize black ink on the wood panels to highlight the finely carved and incised details. Ngnetchopa has said in response to a question about his series of banknotes from around the world that, “Some rich people put their money in a vault. This money is dormant and loses value. I ask these rich people to surrender part of this money to me and I will carve them money of wood which they can live with and show to others. And this wooden money will also acquire value.”

Exhibitions

2011

Art et Argent, liaisons dangereuses, Monnaie de Paris, Paris, France. Virtual exhibition (The Contemporary African Art Collection)

2001

Platea dell’ Umanità – 49° Biennale di Venezia Giardini di Castello / Arsenale – Venice VE, Italy (The Contemporary African Art Collection)

1991

Africa hoy Atlantic Center of Modern Art. Las Palmas Gran Canary – Spain. (The Contemporary African Art Collection)

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