Studio International

Published 06/11/2018

Otobong Nkanga, interview, Artes Mundi 8

Otobong Nkanga talks about her inspirations for the works on show at Artes Mundi 8, and her enduring preoccupations with the reciprocity or interconnectedness of emotion and action around the world


Nigerian-born, Belgium-based Otobong Nkanga (b1974), has long been exploring - through drawings, installations, performance, photographs and sculptures - the links, both fragile and enduring, that connect humans to the land around us via the resources we use and abuse.

For Artes Mundi 8, she is showing two large works, set within a strangely somber and meditative space at the far end of the gallery, with its own pyramidal roof.

Placed on a black carpet, the contemplative quality of these pieces induces an instant hush in the visitors. We see a circle within a circle of elemental items within her sculptural piece Manifest of Strains (2018), occasionally hissing loudly (to represent air) and heating up (fire). This is framed by a large tapestry, titled Double Plot (2018).

The Artes Mundi exhibition runs until 24 February 2019 at the National Museum Cardiff. The prize announcement will be on 24 January 2019.