Abuja, Nigeria – The 2023 International Arts and Crafts Expo (INAC) witnessed a groundbreaking moment as Adebayo Ebenezar Seun took the stage, leaving the audience astounded and exhilarated. In a historic first for INAC, Seun introduced the concept of performance art, captivating spectators by creating a portrait of Otunba Runsewe in an astonishing two minutes.
Seun’s remarkable feat sent ripples of excitement through the audience, and Vanguard had the opportunity to speak with him immediately after he stepped off the stage. When asked about the origins of his incredible skill, he attributed it to discipline and curiosity. “I am an artist, but I have a passion for theater and performing art,” Seun explained. “I took all my electives in school from theater performing art because of the love I have for the stage.”
Seun’s journey to merge his art and performance was marked by diligent study of human features. The portrait he painted may not have been a hyper-realistic representation, but it undeniably captured Otunba Runsewe’s essence. He explained, “If the major features of a person are captured, every other part will be additional. So, I trained myself to do that in the shortest possible time. It is a product of hard work.”
Adebayo Seun hails from Kwara State and holds a degree in Fine Art from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Currently, he is engaged in his National Youth Service in Taraba State.
Regarding his connection with Otunba Segun Runsewe, Seun spoke highly of the man. “Otunba Runsewe is a very nice man,” he said. “He carries young artists along and believes in young talents. Otunba Runsewe is very passionate about the youths. He is not the kind of person who erects boundaries around himself. He is very approachable. When you have something to offer and you approach him, he is ever ready to embrace you, so long as you are serious and know what you are doing.”
When asked about his prolific body of work, Seun confidently stated, “I have thousands of works.” In addition to performance art, he engages in formal painting and has accumulated enough pieces to establish his own art gallery in Abuja if he secures funding. “I have a plan to open my own art gallery here in Abuja, by God’s grace,” he shared.
Seun has an impressive track record of solo and group exhibitions, but his performance at INAC 2023 has added a unique layer of rarity to his portfolio. This portrait of Otunba Runsewe, born from the first performance art (painting) in the history of the International Arts & Crafts Exp
o, holds the potential to become a valuable collector’s item, a testament to the talent and innovation of Adebayo Seun.