After leaving school in 1987, Abu Bakarr Mansaray settled in Freetown where he became a voracious autodidact, interested in practical science and engineering, which subsequently influenced his artistic process. He revived a technique popular in Central Africa of manufacturing decorative objects and toys out of wire and iron. Increasingly, he became more adept at drawing plans for futuristic machines, forming contraptions that could produce fire, light, air, water, cold, motion and sound. Mansaray once proclaimed, ‘I am an artist making creations without limitation.’ The tumultuous economic, political and social status in Sierra Leone, a nation drained by civil war, has irrevocably shaped Mansaray’s imagination. In 1998, he managed to escape his country however, his work continues to bear witness to the atrocities of war.
Mansaray’s works featured in Art / Afrique: le nouvel atelier, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2017); Regarding Africa: Contemporary Art and Afro-Futurism, Tel Aviv (2016) and the 56th Venice Biennale, All the world’s futures, Venice (2015).