Tapping Currents includes the work of artists from Africa and especially the diaspora, who are from widely divergent backgrounds. Whether living in Africa or beyond its borders, each artist has chosen the cultural context in which to create. Identity is no longer exclusively linked to one’s country of origin, but, instead, to how one understands the self through intellectual and psychological processes. Yinka Shonibare, one of the artists in this exhibition, calls himself a “post-colonial hybrid.”
This art is not homogeneous. Several themes do emerge. The artists convey an interest in aesthetic issues and formal concerns—line, shape, color, rhythm and pattern. Some use cutting-edge technology to create new media art, while others find the patterned qualities of digital imagery to be a source of inspiration. The artists investigate colonialism and post-colonialism, slavery, trade, history, gender and identity. Humor and irony call attention to Western misperceptions of what is authentically African and the art encompasses a broad range of expression related to African traditions.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Web Site