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The recipient of
The Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award Programme

2019

Otobong Nkanga

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Solid Maneuvers & The Leftovers
Foto: Øystein Thorvaldsen / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
Carved to Flow

Otobong Nkanga is the inaugural recipient of The Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award presented in London in September 2019.

Otobong Nkanga, born in Nigeria in 1974, currently lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium. Her art practice includes drawing, installation, textile work, photography, sculpture and performance. Nkanga explores the complexities of human influence and presence in nature and in the global economy. She follows the tracks of trade in raw materials, and how goods and people move in the world in different ways and on different premises. Nkanga is concerned with raw material production and how mining and other forms of extraction leave irreversible traces in the landscape. Her work sheds light on how production affects both people and nature, but also how dependent the world is on this circulation of goods. In Nkanga’s work, the theme is often given a poetic setting, where the titles are central to the understanding of the works. Full of literary, religious, and geological references, the titles reflect the complexity of her  works of art.

Photo:
Martine Hoff Jensen

The jury says

Otobong Nkanga was selected because her work and practice so poignantly and effectively address the contradictions inherent in humanity’s most celebrated characteristics: imagination, creativity, and the ability to respond to and engage with the world around us. In the 21st century, humankind has gradually come to realize the immeasurable force and impact of its existence, not only on cultural, social, and economic systems but also on our planet. Nkanga brings a new perspective to these subjects while creating poetic paintings and sculptures of an extraordinary quality

The composition of the jury

Tone Hansen

Leader of the jury

Paulina Rider Wilhelmsen

Founder / Jury Member

Caroline Ugelstad

Jury Member

Michelle Kuo

Jury Member

María Inés Rodríguez

Jury Member

Elvira Dyangani Ose

Jury Member

“Uncertain Where the Next Wind Blows”

“Uncertain Where the Next Wind Blows” is Nkanga's first exhibition in Norway and is curated by Tone Hansen and Karen Monica Reini at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter. The exhibition contains around 70 works and site-specific installations, where the oldest works are from 2003 and the newest from 2020. The exhibition premieres two new works, After We Are Gone (2020) and Revelations (2020), both tapestries. “After we are gone” was acquired by The Lise Wilhelmsen Fund, and Revelations by The Henie Onstad Collection.

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Credits

Art
  • Otobong Nkanga, In Pursuit of Bling - The Discovery, 2014. Private Collection, Amsterdam. Courtesy of Paul van Esch Advisory
  • Otobong Nkanga, The Flow Will Not Stop, 2011. The Ekard Collection.
  • Otobong Nkanga, Filtered Memories - Home, 1977, Yaba, Lagos, 2010. Collection Harm and Floor Haak
  • Otobong Nkanga, Escape, 2018. Private Collection, Belgium
Photos
  • Otobong Nkanga, Carved to Flow, 2017. Courtesy of the Artist. Lotte Konow Lund, Interpretation of Carved to Flow – Wall drawing in chalk, 2020. Foto: Christian Tunge / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
  • Otobong Nkanga, Solid Maneuvers, 2015. Private Collection, JMD, Hong Kong. Foto: Christian Tunge / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
  • Otobong Nkanga, Solid Maneuvers, 2015. The Leftovers, 2017. Private Collection, JMD, Hong Kong. Foto: Christian Tunge / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
  • Otobong Nkanga, Shift and Wait, 2003. Wim Van Dongen Collection. Foto: Christian Tunge / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
  • Otobong Nkanga, Anamnesis, 2016/2020. Courtesy of the Artist. Foto: Christian Tunge / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
  • Otobong Nkanga, Revelations, 2020. Contained Measures of Tangible Memories, 2009. The Venice Series – Escape, Masterplan, Verdict, Reconciliation, 2019. Transition Series – Countdown, Enclosure, Extraction, Flint, 2018. Henie Onstad Collection, Courtesy of the Artist, Private Collection, Belgium, Courtesy of Mathieu Bruyns, Defares Collection, Private Collection, JMD, Hong Kong, Wim Van Dongen Collection, The Ekard Collection, Courtesy of Lumen Travo. Foto: Christian Tunge / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
  • Otobong Nkanga, Captured Gestures – Tension, Control, Enclose, Dominate, Constellation, 2016. Private Collection, Galerie In Situ –Fabienne Leclerc, Grand Paris, Courtesy of the Artist & Galerie In Situ –Fabienne Leclerc, Grand Paris, Courtesy Sandra Hegedus, Courtesy Sandra Hegedus, Galerie Natalie Seroussi. Foto: Øystein Thorvaldsen / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
  • Otobong Nkanga, Double Plot, 2018. Courtesy of the Artist. Foto: Øystein Thorvaldsen / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
  • Installation images - Foto: Øystein Thorvaldsen / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
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