David Adjaye Yaawa

Friday 28 April 2023

“Yaawa reflects my most recent experimentation with monoforms and, more specifically, is an exploration into the nature of bronze. Normally affiliated with artisanal craft or weaponry, I see bronze as a noble material that has a deep lineage and history in Africa.”


David Adjaye, has often used bronze details through his architectural practice, but this is the first time he exclusively uses this metal in functional sculptures.

Born in Tanzania, to Ghanaian parents, Adjaye’s design process is driven by investigation and discovery of his heritage. Through ‘Yaawa’, translating as ‘bronze’ in Twi (one of the indigenous Ghanese languages) he explored different techniques of hand casting, oxidising, patinating and polishing, to reveal the metal in a new light.

“My work is always about an idea, a material and about exploration. It’s about pushing craft forward.”

His buildings are known for their masterful manipulation of light. With Yaawa, Adjaye plays with the reflection of light through experimenting with the surface of the bronze. The works all have lustrous polished tops but textured undersides. This element of surprise is a feature of many of his works.

“If you look at everything from my Elektra House, to even how the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is built, there are moments of discovery in unexpected places.”

This exhibition will be on from the 28th April 2023 to the 10th June 2023