Known as the man who puts the 'fun in funeral', Joseph Ashong, popularly known as Paa Joe walked the streets of Nottingham exhibiting his fantasy coffins.
The renowned fantasy coffin-maker was in Nottingham for the release of his film 'Paa Joe and the lion' which was screened at the Broadway cinema on Sunday, August 28. Prior to the film release, Paa Joe's work was exhibited at various art centres and pre-film culture night with poetry, music and other art showcases.
Known as the 'grandfather of fantasy coffins,' the eccentric sculptor's colourful coffin designs have been exhibited all over the world. Paa Joe’s work takes inspiration from things he sees in his everyday environment, and his concepts are embedded in the Ghanaian tradition to honour the dead. The designs are also inspired by history and extravagance of ancient Egyptian royal tombs.
From aeroplanes to automobiles, sharks to beer bottles, each coffin has its own unique and personal stamp, a reflection and celebration of the character of the deceased.
The coffin-maker's work has travelled far over the years, so far that in 1989, former US president Jimmy Carter visited his workshop and bought two coffins, and in 1998 Bill Clinton also paid him a visit. His work is exhibited in museum collections all around the world, including the British museum.
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