Institute of African American Affairs

at New York University


TheWorldof Frédéric Bruly Bouabré and his Object teaching 

An outdoor series of 13 large-scale postcards by Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, from the Agnès b collection, displayed at the Kimmel Center Window Gallery at LaGuardia Place and West 3rd Street. An exhibition curated by Lydie Diakhaté and organized by the Institute of African American Affairs at NYU.



Thursday, December 1, 2011

7:00 – 9:00 pm


Kimmel Center-NYU

60 Washington Square South, Room 405

New York, NY 10012


Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, self-taught encyclopaedist and blacksmith of words, lives and works in Abidjan. While working as a civil servant in the French colonial regime in Ivory Coast, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré had a divine revelation. On March 11, 1948, seven colorful suns opened up in front of his eyes and drew a circle of beauty around Mother-Sun. The drawings selected for this exhibition are coming out of the alphabet that Bruly Bouabré invented in the 1950s. The alphabet consisted of 448 monosyllabic pictograms that symbolize phonetic syllables and transcribe all human sounds. The objective here is to explore Bruly Bouabré’s intention in creating a specific African writing from scenes of everyday life that can be read as “Object teaching, Object lessons.” All the drawings are related to different symbols about daily life, science, and culture with an educational purpose.