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IROKO: Tree of Life

Motion Graphics

This art project was produced and directed by Imna Arroyo, Tao Chen and Jaime Gómez. Art video and visual effects were created by Tao Chen. The Iroko Tree of Life art multimedia video production begins with a dance between the Orisha of the river Ochun Kole, and Iroko the Orisha who embodies the tree of life for the Yoruba people, and some believe that together they have saved the world in multiple occasions. A collage of images epitomizing man-made pollution and disruptive deforestation of the environment follows the symbolic dance sequences, contrasting with the natural way of life and ancestral ecological vision of the indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta in Colombia, who assert “where we live nature never ends.”

National Endowment for the Arts, National Heritage Fellow and Master Traditional Yoruba Singer, Amma D. McKen, curated the traditional Iroko songs and performed with Denise Ola DeJean and Swahili Henry. The dance was choreographed by Alycia Bright-Holland and performed with Sinque Tavares. Visuals were recorded or acquired by the producers in Colombia, Puerto, Rico, Taiwan, and studio video recording was done at Eastern Connecticut State University.

I also created a motion graphic piece for promoting this art video project.