Art allowed me to meet different cultures, people, and the entire generation. – Raoul Komlagan
Times of Youth: For those who don’t know about you and your work, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Raoul Komlagan: My name is Raoul Komlagan Tekou of Togolese origin and I live in France in a small Basque town named Hendaye located at the Spanish border in the Pyrenees Atlantiques.
Togo: Togo is one of the smaller African countries with 56 785 km² and 7 million inhabitants, stretching about 700 km from north to south with a width not exceeding 100 km, bounded on the north by the Burkina Faso, to the south by the Gulf of Guinea, east by Benin and to the west by Ghana. This small size does not prevent Togo to be recognized for the diversity of its landscapes (a sandy coast lined with coconut trees in the south, hills, green valleys and small mountains in the center of the country, plains arid savannahs and large baobab trees planted to the north). Lome is the capital.
Times of Youth: How would you describe your work to someone who has never known about it?
Raoul Komlagan: My art exudes the joy of living, love, and optimism. Through my art, I like to pass through painting, writing and verb, the poetic traditions of my parents with the gaiety as a common denominator.
To do this I have traveled across Europe, before creating performances, tales and art shops. Modestly, but also with the efficiency offered by the knowledge of my art, I give my painting a naïvisme of great wealth, with the picturesque expression which employs characters and minds targeted in tradition and ways of beings defined by bright and optimistic colors, quivering touch that ignores the best technique to capture the symbolic waves, mysterious and attentive, from which arises a magical poetry that vies the pomp of a welcoming folklore.
Times of Youth: What sparked your initial interest in arts?
Raoul Komlagan: I paint from my early childhood. This art was passed from generation to generation and I had this chance to meet my ancestor’s artists at heart.
Times of Youth: At what age did you start doing all this work? Has your family always been supportive of this choice of career?
Raoul Komlagan: Art is my passion. And I have a job in an electronics system on board the aircraft. As I said before, I paint and I sing since my early childhood. And my family is involved in the art, for it is from generation to generation. My children paint, sing and play percussions because I am also a percussionist, writer, and storyteller.
Times of Youth: If not this, what else would you have taken up as your 2nd career of choice and why?
Raoul Komlagan: After studies in Mathematics and Computer Science and a few professional years in IT, I resumed my studies in conjunction with Design and Control in Embedded Electronic System for a project in my country and also do writing and painting workshops. In 2014, I published two books of stories.
Times of Youth: Do tell us how your experience has been in your current field so far.
Raoul Komlagan: So far I’m not complaining. Art allowed me to meet different cultures, people, and the entire generation. I quote, ‘Love is already in us. Just get in touch with him. On recognizing, loving and nurturing our inner garden with him, we make the best gifts.’
Times of Youth: On a scale of 1 – 10, how would you rate yourself as an artist, honestly?
Raoul Komlagan: I am humble and I often think it’s not for me to judge me or write about me. So I leave that choice to your readers and the public to evaluate me.
Times of Youth: Which of your projects are you most proud of and why?
Raoul Komlagan: I’m most proud of sharing my art with my family and my beautiful children. Especially sharing my art with different people, different cultures, and different generations and without distinction. The project also helped me to understand that love of others that is very dear. I learned a lot and I’m still learning. Another proof is your interview; I’m learning by it too.
Times of Youth: Where do you see yourself in next 5 years?
Raoul Komlagan: As told to me by my grandfather, I quote: ‘The future will tell us.’
Times of Youth: What is one question nobody has ever asked you— that you wish they asked you?
Raoul Komlagan: How are you always ‘enjaillé’? Enjaillé is Nouchi language means HAPPY.
Times of Youth: Any message to your fans or followers via TIMES OF YOUTH?
Raoul Komlagan: For fans and followers I say you make love, not war. Make ‘kiss selfies’ and post on my page or email and a beautiful international project can be done. It will not be a buzz but a humanitarian project. So the future will tell.
Times of Youth: Do tell us how fans & followers can contact you to share their appreciation/feedback/suggestions.
Raoul Komlagan: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AfricartAdje?ref=hl