Otobong Nkanga


Otobong Nkanga, Performing at De Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2008. Photograph © Wim van Dongen.

Country: Nigeria

Otobong Nkanga currently lives and works in Paris and Antwerp. She initially started her studies at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria and continued at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts Paris, France. She completed an artist's residency at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam and has finished her post graduate program at Dasarts, Advanced Studies in the performing Arts, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Nkanga is a visual artist and live performer working in a broad spectrum of media such as installations, photography, drawings and sculpture.

Nkanga makes use of the body and voice in live performances/videos or sometimes becoming the protagonist in some of her photography works to convey and interrogate implications of our acts in varied environments and contexts. With the use of personal urban biography and everyday observations Nkanga reveals the layered and complicated relationships between everyday resources/ material, landscapes and the unseen social, political, and economic structures that form and are formed by them. 

Her upcoming solo exhibition Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands is in March 2010. Her work has been showcased at other exhibitions like the Taipei Biennial (2004); Africa remix, Kunst Palast Museum, Düsseldorf (2004) and the Hayward Gallery, London (2005), 1st Architecture, Art and Landscape Biennial of the Canary Island (2006); Snap Judgments: New position in Contemporary African Photography, ICP, New York (2006) and The Tamayo Museum, Mexico city (2007); FLOW, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2008); Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland (2008); Re/presentaciones: ellas, Casa Africa, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (2008); AiM, International Biennale, Marrakech, Morocco (2009) and Animism, Extra City Kunsthal and M HKA Museum, Antwerp, Belgium (2010).