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Black ArtistsYinka Shonibare CBE RA

February 3, 2012

As Yinka Shonibare CBE RA installs his 2008 solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia, he discusses his experience as a black artist living and working in the United Kingdom.

With few black artist role models from the previous generation to follow in the path of, Shonibare describes his motivation and strategy for getting his work into the art system.

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Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Philippe Charluet & Ian Serfontein. Sound: Mark Cornish & Paul Stadden. Editor: Joaquin Perez. Artwork Courtesy: Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA). Thanks: Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Yinka Shonibare CBE RA

Known for using batik in costumed dioramas that explore race and colonialism, Yinka Shonibare CBE RA also employs painting, sculpture, photography, and film in work that disrupts and challenges our notions of cultural identity. Taking on the honorific CBE (and previously MBE) as part of his name in everyday use, Shonibare plays with the ambiguities and contradictions of his attitude toward the Establishment and its legacies of colonialism and class. In multimedia projects that reveal his passion for art history, literature, and philosophy, Shonibare provides a critical tour of Western civilization and its achievements and failures.

“I wanted to see if there was a way of actually transcending those barriers, and seeing if those barriers could somehow be pushed down.”

Yinka Shonibare CBE RA

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