How an art icon wants to revitalize Nigeria’s creative ecosystem with a residency for artists

Yinka Shonibare is fascinated by the complexities and the global flows that make up African identities. This is evident in his widely recognized use of “African” wax print fabrics, a recurring motif in Shonibare’s artworks. These designs however are Indonesian batik fabrics produced by the Dutch, and are widely distributed across Western Africa.

“I liked the layers of identity of those fabrics,” Shonibare says. “The fabrics became a metaphor for the contemporary African”. Known for his visual explorations on post-colonialism, globalization and identity, Shonibare’s work examines the transnational mobility and fluidity of African identities and explores the multiplicity of cosmopolitanism.

Understanding the wider cultural significance of Shonibare’s works is imperative to understanding how he aims to redefine Nigeria’s cultural and creative landscape. His political views, themes and explorations are somewhat integrated into the mission and vision of his latest philanthropic initiative, Guest Artists Space (G.A.S) Foundation. Scheduled

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