Balla Niang lives and works near Dakar, in Senegal. He was trained in wood work, sculpture and design by his big brother Babacar, pursuing and expanding his vision in the family studio, 'Nulangee', after his premature death in 2015. Crossing functionality with art, Balla creates unique objects with a singular aura, that conjure up notions of Afro-futurism and Surrealism. They are inspired to him by traditional beliefs emanating from the Sahel region, in which the worlds of animals, humans, vegetals and "things" freely mutate into each other.
Balla's favourite motif is the chair,the closest object related to human physiology. Following the militant vision of his brother, he has commited to use only discarded materials that are sourced locally with the employment of the community. These include pieces of broken, half burnt, or stumps of Ebony, Vuele, Accacia or Bois de Melisse, and he also experiments with cattle horn and leather. He transforms the materials into art objects innovating from traditional techniques of making that are inherited from the Sahel region.
Balla Niang has exhibited in institutional contexts such as the Biennials of Dakar (Senegal), Coutrai (Belgium), the London Design Festival, and the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, France. It is in the permanent collections of the former, as well as the CNAP, Paris and many foundations.Babacar Niang was born in January 1980 in Rustique, Senegal.
Grains of Paradise: Contemporary African Design, New York.
Southern Guild at Design Miami / Basel.
Participation in the expo Guild African Cape Town Design Exhibition with DNA
Participation in the exhibition Graphic Africa with DNA as part of London Design Festival
Participation in the design studio Mariestaad - Sue de "traditions of woodworking from four different continents"
Exposure to Mamepouya gallery toubab Dialao
Dakar art show / Dakar Women's Group
Off Dak'art Biennale Exhibition "convergences"
Fibers and Materials Fair
Cultural Center "The Chiroux" Liege, Belgium Selected for the International Biennial Dak'art
Africa: International Fair of Dakar OIC Fair
Meet Room Foundation, Barcelona, Spain Selected for the international exhibition "Made in Africa" (France, Italy, Holland, Canada, USA, Brazil ...)
The Armoury Gallery, Dakar, Senegal
Niger Festival, Segou, Mali
National Gallery of Arts, Dakar
Senegal French Cultural Centre, Dakar, Senegal Selected for theInternational Biennial of Design
St Etienne, France
"Talent Africa", Paris, France
"look over" Goree Island, Senegal