Kadija Sangho, a passionate collector of contemporary art from Africa.

Malian by origin and international professional, Kadija Sangho is a collector, passionate about Africa, with a collection that grows over her travels and discoveries. From Cameroon to Morocco where she currently resides, Kadija has agreed to share with us a part of her collector's journey as well as some popular uses in the community.

1 - What was your first contact with the art world?

I have been in contact with the art world from an early age through trips to the Museum and exhibitions. However, I have interacted more regularly with the art world since 2016, when I moved to Africa. If I have to remember a date, I can say 12/2016 during the opening of Joël Mpah Dooh for the 21 years of the MAM gallery in Douala.

2 - Why do you collect contemporary art?

The choice to collect contemporary art stems from several aspects. From a "visual art" point of view, I am very drawn to the freedom of shapes, colors and the boldness of the messages that pass through contemporary art.

In terms of values, I am aware of young collectors sensitive to "living artists". I think artists should live and enjoy the fruits of their art while they are alive. This notion is all the more important for me in the contemporary art market in Africa, where the current evolution of our societies does not sufficiently value artistic creation.

Finally, there is a budget component that can integrate this whole equation, as classical and modern works of art by major listed artists turn out to be out of budget for young collectors.

3 - How did you build your collection?

I have built my collection over the years, through discoveries at openings, art fairs and also on the internet. I have also listened extensively to advice from more discerning collectors and even some artists who have helped me include young art school leavers in my selection. I am thinking in particular of the young Diakaridia Traoré whom I discovered thanks to Amadou Sanogo.

4 - Do you exclusively collect contemporary art from Africa?

I started collecting while on the mainland. My collection is therefore very Africa-oriented and mainly composed of African artists based on the continent or in France. I am nevertheless closely following the trends in Latin Ameri

5 - How many works do you own?

In my collection, I currently have 27 works of art including two photographs and one sculpture.

6 - What was your first purchase?

I made my very first acquisition during the first edition of the Douala Art Fair in 2018. It was a magnificent painting by Marc Padeu.

7 - What first attracts you to a work? Pleasure ? Emotion?

My first point of attraction with the work is the message I get to read about the work, even before the interpretation the artist can give me afterwards. I really enjoy this exercise.

Then, since I have an approach oriented towards young artists, I add some selection criteria, which can relate to the technique, the artist's art school, his affiliation to a gallery or a group in order to follow his evolution and his approach over time. As a result, I have (and unfortunately) few autodidacts in my collection, only two artists who touched me a lot.

Finally, the contact and feeling with the artist are points that can be important in my approach. Some have even become my friends.

8 - How do you find your artists ? On the Internet? In the gallery? Have you ever purchased artwork online?

I actively search online on sites like Artsy, Artsper, the specialized press but also Instagram which is a channel widely used by young artists and platforms like Kelen.

For the markets that I discover, I get in touch with the galleries in order to better understand the offer. This is currently the case in Morocco where I live. I'm trying to better understand the creations on the market.

During my travels, I regularly meet artists in their working environment, in workshops or groups such as the Badialan workshop in Bamako, which is a real nest for young talents.

I buy or reserve works remotely in a very common way, it is very suitable for our lives in 2021.

9 - How often do you buy?

I don't have any specific rules about this. It all depends on the context and the offer. I can nevertheless note that I have bought every year since 2016 except in 2020 with the context of instability generated by the COVID-19 crisis.

10 - For you, is the concept of price important?

Artistic creation is so subjective that the notion of price can be confusing for artists and buyers. However, at my level as a young beginner collector, the price does matter: my budget is limited.

I set myself a few criteria and limits, without entering into a negotiating relationship that may seem disrespectful to the artist's work.

Amadou Sanogo

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