ASANTE: I am Maya Freelon Asante and I’m here at the US Embassy in Madagascar installing my artwork Ubuntu which is a sculpture inspired by the idea that I am because we are, meaning that one tiny scrap of tissue paper may seem insignificant but when it’s combined with many others there’s strength and power.
It’s inspired by my grandmother who was or is an amazing woman and I believe is an artist in her own right, but didn’t have the opportunities that I do. So for her in her lifetime to see me work at such a massive scale is really exciting for her.
My grandmother, she really influenced a lot of this work, I found the tissue paper actually folded into her basement and I used that as a vehicle to share the connectivity of quilt making and tissue paper along with the textile and fabric work here in Madagascar.
ASANTE, CLIP: Getting down to the safety level! ASANTE, CLIP: Those are both 5×7.5?
OFF CAMERA: Yeah.
ASANTE, CLIP: Okay.
ASANTE: It’s been around the world, that’s the amazing part. It’s been from Ghana to Maine. This work has been in North Carolina, New York, San Francisco, it’s on a constant journey. But now it’s got a final resting place here in Madagascar.