Yaw Tony

Yaw Tony is a curator, designer & artist based in Toronto. Yaw is formally trained in Architecture, graphic design, and Fine Art, and works in those areas as well as product designs and creative consulting. Tony’s work has been exhibited worldwide and has been published in the likes of Vitra Design Museum: Making Africa; A Continent of Contemporary Design 2015, and cover feature of Designlines 2018, Studio 2021, Globe and Mail: DesignTo 2022, etc. Yaw Tony is the architect of LLiM (www.lifeliveth.com), a luxury design house that specializes in scarves and textile design, lifestyle accessories, home furnishings and Artistwork (www.artistwork.ca) visual communication art projects. Tony’s artistic practice is deeply influenced by the idea of value and the use of colours, their connection to humanity, and their impact on human behaviour. His approach to aesthetics or beauty is a practice of invitation to exploration through multiple forms of storytelling. Yaw also engages in experimental research aimed at understanding the purpose of life. Who am I? Identity. Where am I from? Source. Why am I here? Purpose. What can I do? Potential. Where am I going? Destiny. These questions are the source of human motivations and actions. The quest for meaning, leadership, love, pursuit and aim for a better future, corruption, crime, joy, and care—all arrive from different answers and explorations of these questions, whether for better or worse. How truthfully each of us answers these questions is a reflection of how close we are to our deepest selves, rather than to the selves society makes up for us. These are the explorations Yaw’s work aims to lead us through. Yaw strongly believes that every human possesses a leadership spirit and innate gift(s) to serve humanity but many will die not becoming.

Preeminent in his work is the place of storytelling. In the work, he uses proverbs, parables, allegories, folk stories and the Adinkra symbols of Ghana. The Adinkra symbols have rich proverbial meanings. In Asante culture, the use of proverbs is considered a mark of wisdom. Other Adinkra symbols depict historical events, human behaviour and attitudes, animal behaviour, plant life forms, and shapes. These symbols narrate our inner and collective selves. They are hypocatastatic visionings. While he will tell one story, the story that the viewer tells or interprets is variable, dependent upon their social location and personal histories. Beyond the symbols themselves, the colours move self-discovery.