The origin of all of Frédérick Bruly Bouabré ’s work stems from a revelatory experience: on March 11, 1948, “the heavens opened up before my eyes and seven colorful suns described a circle of beauty around their Mother-Sun, I became Cheik Nadro: ‘He who does not forget.’'
From then on Bruly Bouabré tackled every field of knowledge and collected his research in manuscripts about arts and traditions, poetry, tales, religion, esthetics, and philosophy, revealing himself to be an astonishing thinker, poet, encyclopedist, creator. Searching for a way to preserve and transmit the knowledge of the Bété people, as well as the knowledge of the entire world, he invented an alphabet of 448 monosyllabic pictograms to represent phonetic syllables. Bouabré’s alphabet, which can transcribe all human sounds, reflects the essence of his thought: to achieve universality and to unite mankind.
In the 1970s, Bouabré started to transfer his thoughts to hundreds of small
drawings in postcard format, using a ballpoint pen and colour crayons. These drawings, gathered under the title of Connaissance du Monde (World Knowledge), form an encyclopedia of universal knowledge and experience.
Other projects, such as Readings from Signs Observed in Oranges (1988), serve as visionary records of divination.
For Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, his drawings are representation of everything that is revealed or concealed—signs, divine thoughts, dreams, myths, the sciences, traditions—and he views his role as an artist as a redemptive calling. He has stated: “Now that we are recognized as artists, our duty is to organize into a society, and in such a way to create a framework for discussion and exchange among those who acquire and those who create. From that could arise a felicitous world civilisation.”
Fréderic Bruly Bouabré the universalist . VO.English Subtitled from Andres Alvarez on Vimeo.