Otobong Nkanga wins the BelgianArtPrize

Otobang Nkanga, Steel to Rust - Resistance

Otobang Nkanga, Steel to Rust – Resistance © BOZAR

Organized every two years in close collaboration with the Palais des Beaux-Arts, BelgianArtPrize encourages confirmed talents (Belgian or artists residing in Belgium) by offering them a prize and international visibility. This prize – the most important and oldest in Belgium – was awarded to Otobang Nkanga (1974, Kano / Nigeria).

Based in Antwerp for nine years, Otobang Nkanga delivers a multidisciplinary production (drawing, photography, installation, video …) perfectly illustrating the transformative processes and referring to the changes affecting our society. “For the BelgianArtPrize, Otobong Nkanga is interested in the themes of corrosion, oxidation, impregnation and contamination. With three tapestries and a sculpture, she continues the exploration of the transformation processes of
materials by experimenting with crystals that merge with a tapestry (Steel to Dust – Slow Growth), or sometimes with a rusty steel plate which is laser-cut, evoking the effect of corrosion (Steel to Rust – Resistance), or with a textile that slowly absorbs a liquid, thus contaminating the poem woven there (In a Place Yet Unknown). It is inspired by changes in society built on seemingly stainless values, but where underlying (in) visible mechanisms of alteration, crystallization of ideologies and the birth of new structures are hidden beneath the surface, as so many signs of life. (BOZAR) “I have exhibited in BOZAR a textile that slowly but unequivocally absorbs the liquid in which it is immersed,” explains Otobong Nkanga. “You can see how the liquid leaves traces and very slowly contaminates the tissue. The winner received €25,000, giving her the freedom to pursue her creative approach.

Palace of Fine Arts / BOZAR

Rue Ravenstein 23




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