Vodou Riche: Contemporary Haitian Art is a group exhibition of recent work created within the social, political and spiritual context of Vodou, Haiti's national religion. The artists embrace a history of appropriating imagery and incorporating found objects, a practice born from necessity and great invention. Haitian art absorbs and interprets visual culture so masterfully because of its foundation in Vodou, a culture that was born and survives due to its history of accommodation and inclusion. As Haitian artists master new artistic methods and media, their work grows increasingly vital in the contemporary art world. In Haiti and its Diaspora, artwork spans from urban artist collectives who create monumental sculpture from reclaimed materials to established artists who deconstruct traditional Haitian genres to illustrate contemporary issues. Vodou Riche offers a broad and inclusive view of the contemporary art of Vodou through a multimedia exhibition presenting painting, sculpture, photography, installation, video, textiles and assemblage.
Part of Columbia's Critical Encounters focus, Poverty and Privilege, Vodou Riche challenges Haiti's oft-used label "the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere" by presenting the abundance and wealth of Haiti's creative output. While their country battles socioeconomic problems, Haitian artists embrace the richness of their culture by capturing Haiti's irrepressible, vibrant and triumphant spirit.