Why I'm building Visual Art Centre in Kwara - Abdulrazaq

Date: 2021-11-08

Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State, in a show of his love for the arts, is building a magnificent ‘Visual Arts Centre’ in the city of Ilorin.

According to the governor, the Visual Art Centre, when completed, will house a film factory, a Dolby studio and a gallery where the artworks of both famed and upcoming artists will be displayed.

Conscious of the potential of the creative industry, particularly music and Nollywood, Abdulrazaq expressed concern that the Nigerian film industry does not enjoy much prominence in continental and international fora.

"In Nigeria, we have Nollywood and music, but there's much to do. These boys are working from their laptops, mixing music. Music is not easy, but in film production, more is required. Our films are not competing in the ordinary Burkina Faso Film Festival (FESPACO), because what we're shooting is videos, not movies.

We are not doing cinematography because we don’t have studios. We cannot do the last mile, which is post-production. Yes, there’s a place to meet in Lagos, Accra and Johannesburg. But because of capacity and waiting time in Lagos, some go to Ghana. So, we said, let's do it here," the governor explained. Abdulrazaq, who is an avid art collector, also plans to have an art exhibition once the facility is completed. For this, he wishes to invite the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, to the launch. "Mohammed VI is regarded as the number one art collector in Africa. He has a lot of Nigerian arts in his possession," the governor said.

The governor also hinted at the possibility of having an exchange of art with the UAE. "We are planning on showcasing Arabic pieces because there is a culture here. And we intend to speak with the ambassador to UAE who is a good friend. The UAE is currently building the Louvre Abu Dhabi and is likely to complete it in five years' time. They have great experience in Islamic, Arab and global art, and they are tapping from the resources of the Louvre in France. So, we can do an exchange of art," he concluded.

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