Leasho Johnson & Monique Gilpin – Required Reading

Room E16 East, Somerset House, Strand London WC2R 1LA
4th, 5th, 6th October 11:00am – 7:00pm
7th October 11:00am – 6:00pm 


Suzie Wong Presents, Jamaica, in collaboration with 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning are proud to present Required Reading by Leasho Johnson and Monique Gilpin as a Special Project at the sixth London edition of 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Somerset House.  This is the first time the Caribbean has been included in the 1:54 programme, and we are thrilled to be innovating the wider platform for contemporary visual artists of that region.

In Stuart Hall’s essay ‘Cultural Identity and Diaspora’, 1994, Hall speaks to cultural identity as being both fluid and constantly in production in the Caribbean Diaspora. If we consider this process in the Caribbean itself, where creolisation, assimilations, syncretisms and resistances are constantly in negotiation, all in the shadows of conquest, colonisation, slavery, emancipation and Independence, we can explore where the location points of ‘being’ and ‘becoming’ in the ‘New World’, ‘the primal scene, where the fateful/fatal encounter was staged between Africa and the West’, emerge. The specificity of identity location- the fraught, and at times traumatic or celebratory tensions of these locations, is explored in the works of Jamaican artists Leasho Johnson and Monique Gilpin.



  • Reading Group – Black Togetherness as Lingua Franca: 4th – 7th  October 2018

A dynamic reading of parts of Fatima El-Tayeb’s book European Others: Queering Ethnicity in Post National Europe as part of ‘Diasporic Self: Black Togetherness as Lingua Franca’ (198 Contemporary Arts and Learning, London and Framer FRAMED, Amsterdam December 2018).‘Diasporic Self: Black Togetherness as Lingua Franca’ is a project convened by AMAL ALHAAG (Independent Curator and Researcher) and BARBY ASANTE (Artist, Curator and Researcher) exploring the possibilities and impossibilities of a black togetherness in Europe. The project explores everyday vernacular, performativity, improvisation, unconstituted archives and informal memory practices that inform and map contemporary black cultures in Europe. Alhaag and Asante will be joined by longtime collaborators from the SORRYYOUFEELUNCOMFORTABLE collective, NADEEM DIN-GABISI and IMANI ROBINSON, a UK-based collective creating intentional space for radical study, conversation and multi-disciplinary art making.



198 is a nonprofit art space with a 30-year history of platforming artists and curators in issues of emerging cultural identities. Suzie Wong Presents platforms emerging contemporary artists of the Caribbean to new audiences, focusing on creating new opportunities with curators and collectors. This collaboration is a new partnership, seeking to strengthen transatlantic relationships and increase Caribbean visibility.

Image credit:  Porcelain Correlation 2/3 2015  Monique Gilpin


This exhibition is proudly supported by: