Koyo Kouoh is a Cameroonian-born curator and an advocate for African art, who has been with the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) in Cape Town, South Africa, since 2019
Kouoh studied business administration and banking in Switzerland, and cultural management in France, and in 1994 jointly edited a German-language equivalent of Margaret Busby’s anthology of writings by women of African descent, Daughters of Africa (1992), called Töchter Afrikas. In 2001 and 2003, she was the co-curator of Bamako Encounters (Rencontres de Bamako), a photography biennial held in Mali.
In 2008, she founded the RAW Material Company in Dakar, an independent centre of art, knowledge and society, staffed entirely by women. She served as its artistic director until 2019 when she took up her role at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa.
Zeitz MOCAA is the largest museum of contemporary African art in the world, and it opened to the public in 2017.
Its mission is to exhibit, collect, preserve and research contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora, as well as hosting international exhibitions and developing educational and enrichment programmes. It is home to work by several renowned artists such as Chris Ofili, Kudzanai Chiurai, Kehinde Wiley, Glenn Ligon, Marlene Dumas, Wangechi Mutu, and Julie Mehretu, loaned from the private collection of Jochen Zeitz for the duration of his lifetime.
The formation of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa saw the transformation of one of Cape Town’s historic landmarks, the Grain Silo Complex at the V&A Waterfront, into a contemporary art space. For designer Thomas Heatherwick and his team of architects, this was an opportunity to reimagine a former industrial building, creating a new kind of museum in an African context.
In 2020 Kouoh was recognised with the Swiss Grand Award for Art / Prix Meret Oppenheim.