Can you introduce yourself ?
I am Boubacar Diabang, more commonly known as the nom of Cool Diabang, my artist name I was born in 1972 in the Casamance region of Senegal in the village of Abéné. I have been my studies At Ecole National des Beaux-Arts of Dakar.
From 1991, I have regularly stayed in the Nethrlands , today I live and work between France and Senegal. My workshops are situated in Dina, Brıttany and in Casamance. I had stayed several years without a return to Senegal as .Folowing the disappearance of a close friend but also because of the conflict in Casamance, now I go there regularly.
Why did you choose this profession?
I had a click in 1988 and it is called ‘’white year’’in Senegal . Durıng thıs year, there had demonstrations of pupils and students so well that ,he had neither courses nor exams and this led to a invalidated year. It is in this context that I went regularly to the regional cultural center in Ziguinchor, and I started to interest to the ‘’art ın all its form’’.
As an artist, how do you define yourself?
I am an artıst multi-discıplinary : paintıng, sculpture, music ( percussion) and performance.
What is your background?
After a white year 1988, I returned to high school and in 1991, after the death of my father I have definitely abandoned the secondary cycle to contınue in the artistic field. Then I joined the school of National des Beaux Arts. I stayed 5 years instead of 4 traditional years, I had just arrived in Dakar and I felt like a little girl lost in this great city.
Which artists have you been influenced?
During a white year, I met the painter Mamadou Lamine Tanda at the regional culture center to Ziguinchor ,he opened the door of his workshop and it is him who suggest me to integrate a School of fine Arts. This is not necessarly him who inspired me as an artist or who has influenced me but it has set me on the artistic field , I owe him so much .
During a stay in my native village, I met some austrians organized in class: Losito Bild und Freudshaft, They invited me to go in residence in Salzburg in Austria. They have also meant a lot for me and influnced my career path.
Regarding the music, on the mother’s side, there are a lots of drummers, very early, i have been immersed in this universe and it is therefore quite naturally that in my turn I begın to practice.
What motivated you first to do this job?
Issa samba Alias Jo Ouakam is an artist that I met at The Beaux Arts, he is a performer with a lot of talent and unquestionably it has given me the taste for this art.
Visual artists , I was sensitive to the style expressionisme I was touched by the work of artist, France Kline and Georges Basel. I liked a lot their Works.
Your close friends and family have you always supported in your choices?
My decision to commit myself to an artist path hqs not been easily accepted because this reason involved abandonment of the high school.
I know that if my father were alive, he would not have approuved this choice. My mother has supported me in the beginning but on the side of my brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts.
This had been more difficult to understand and to accept.
How can you present your Works ? Which reflects have them ?
In my work, there is always a link between the rural World that inspires me enormously as well as the worlds mystical and spiritual . I come from a family of fisherman, therefore this environment is reflected in my work.
I am also interested to the socio- political questions , the conflict in Casamance, a White year. These are permanent questions , and the fact of painting, sculpting or performing are as a response for this situation, it is my mode of expression.
My painting is not totally figurative nor abstract, it is the shades and rhythms different on each piece. I try to give a harmony to the colors and to the forms that collide in the space of my work.
How do you work?
I never know in advance what I’m going to do. In the Face of the canvas, I let my imagination. It is like a need of show and go in imagination. The more I advance in my research the more, I try to get out of the conventional context and the frame.
I like for exemple to use organic wood, or canvas without frame..
I’m working really with instinct and therefore it is very difficult for me to paint for a specific command.
My painting work leads me to touch sometimes other worlds as assembly, installation and even performance.
I love the collaborations. Recently in Dakar at the museum IFAN, I made a performance with the dancers of the company Ténane around the theme of the Freedom Expression. This year, I have worked with many artists, including the German singers Sonja Kandels at the Village Green Festival, it has a Southend on Sea in England and in Geneva with the Senegalese artist Soly Cissé.
What stage do you prefer in the realization?
It really depends on periods and on my state of mind. I always need to be in the movement for to share the work with other artists.
What is the most important work among your creations?
It’s difficult for me to answer this question because it is as if you asked me to choose between my children. Once I’ve finished a painting, , I pass quickly on to other thing. I need to go immediately to another thing.
What is the ideal environment for work?
According to the periods and the projects , I work alone or with other people if I need assistance, I can collaborate with other artists as mentioned previously. But at the begining of the creation, I prefer and I need to be alone.
For some projects, I need to be in Africa to achieve especially in the winter!
Since 2007, I am often in the UK, this has allowed me to develop my kills in performance.
Are you in the associations or in the Collective?
In a perspective of artistic and cultural exchanges, I have been working in partnership with various associations or collective such as the Collective of Plastic artists of Geneva and Conversation Cultural of Bonn in Germany.
In France, I am the founder of the Collective, here and there, Arts and Co-founder of the Collective Utopia Performance.
This year, I co-created with Artists Bily Bruce of Senegal, the collective TAWI (Touki or Travel Artist Workshop International) and we have submitted a Project for he Off of the Biennale DAK’ ART 2016.
What are your current projects?
I am preparing an exhibition prepared by Ousmane Dia at the Nest Gallery, in Geneva Switzerland for he month of November.
I will attend to the exposition at the end of this year << Guissou Me the Mbao >> in Senegal for the commemoration of the silent story of the Senegalese Riflemen. (It is a Project presented by Claude Gomis and Saskia Kobschal in collaboration with the structure Apexart of New York.