Sounds of Blackness is a group exhibition featuring an ensemble of visual artists from the African Diaspora, whose practices articulate a multiplicity of ideas and perspectives through various mediums. Inspired by the Grammy-award-winning and U.S.-based musical ensemble of the same name, the exhibition showcases artworks that stimulate the senses–similar to how music’s vibratory capacity impacts its listeners. Running from March 14 to June 27, 2023 at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila in BGC, the works evoke expressions of joy, pain, beauty, and the complexities of Black life around the globe, and highlight a range of styles from emerging to established artists, many of whom will be exhibiting in the Philippines for the first time. 

Sounds of Blackness

Sounds of Blackness is curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah and anchored by a selection of works from the collection of Filipino collector Timothy Tan. This unique presentation will include additional works from private collectors across Asia in order to cultivate a holistic perspective on the various strategies employed by the artists in the exhibition. This exhibition is sponsored by Flexform, Poliform, Sta. Elena Construction & Devt. Corporation, and Ruby Jack’s Steakhouse and Bar, with support from Fortune Life.


  • Patrick Alston Izere
  • Antoine Amoako Boafo
  • Kim Dacres
  • Delphine Desane Sesse
  • Elangwe Patrick Eugène
  • Ufuoma Essi
  • Charles Gaines
  • Alex Gardner
  • Alteronce Gumby Hugh
  • Hayden
  • Rashid Johnson Tunji
  • Adeniyi-Jones Spencer
  • Lewis Hugo McCloud
  • Simphiwe Ndzube Toyin
  • Ojih Odutola
  • Nathaniel Mary Quinn
  • Wahab Saheed
  • Tschabalala Self
  • Vaughn Spann
  • Hank Willis Thomas
  • Bongani Tshabalala
  • David “Mr. StarCity” White
  • Kehinde Wiley

Sounds of Blackness will have a walkthrough with the curator himself, Larry Ossei-Mensah. The walkthrough is open to the public, free of charge on March 15, 2023 from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon. Interested parties may register via the Metropolitan Museum of Manila Facebook page.


Larry Ossei-Mensah uses art as a forum to redefine how we see ourselves and the world around us. The Ghanaian-American curator, cultural critic, and angel investor has organized exhibitions and programs at commercial and nonprofit spaces featuring artists such as Firelei Baez, Steve McQueen, Catherine Opie, Nick Cave, Guadalupe Maravilla, Ebony G. Patterson, Judy Chicago, Stanley Whitney, to name a few. He has also collaborated on several Web3-related projects with creatives such as Derrick Adams x Jay-Z, Marco Brambilla, and Mikael Owunna. 

The global venues Ossei-Mensah has collaborated with on exhibitions include The MCA Denver, Ben Brown Fine Arts in Hong Kong & London, MASS MoCA, and the 7th Athens Biennale in Athens, Greece, which he co-curated with OSMK Social Club. 

Ossei-Mensah is also the former Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCAD), Detroit. Currently, he serves as Curator-at-Large at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Ossei-Mensah also curated Ghanaian painter Amoako Boafo’s first museum solo exhibition, Soul of Black Folks, at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in 2021, San Francisco, and the Contemporary Art Museum Houston in 2022. Upcoming iterations of the show will be on view at the Seattle Art Museum and Denver Art Museum during the latter part of 2023. 

A native of The Bronx, Ossei-Mensah co-founded ARTNOIR, a nonprofit whose mission is to drive racial equity in the art world by centering creatives, curators, collectors, and communities of color.

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