Nneka Kai is an interdisciplinary artist from Atlanta, Georgia. Currently a 2nd year Fiber & Material Studies candidate at The Art Institute of Chicago, where she was also a research assistant for the Textiles Resource Center. She holds a BFA with a concentration in Textiles from Georgia State University. She has exhibited in Atlanta and Chicago.
I am an interdisciplinary artist who investigates the autonomy of the black radical female form and how performative gestures of black female subjectivity are manifested in a post colonial context. By contextualizing traditional craft techniques such as plaiting, coiling, and reverse applique within the landscapes of fluid identities, I am able to unearth captive histories that have been seized by dominant patriarchal narratives. This examination of archives and histories through personal storytelling reconfigure agency hidden in stereotypical representations of black women and their freedoms. The collaging of afterlives bridges pasts, presents, and speculations of the futures that are full of complexities, both transparent and opaque. My practice is situated in the many intersections of varied disciplines; fiber and material investigations, sound (the visual and the sonic), sculpture, poetics, and performance. The diversity of my practice relates to the multiplicity of living in the current political and social moment where one’s ambiguity is a refusal to be named into one static categorical framework. These tensions further dialogue and disband hierarchies into visions of belonging, healing, and transcendence.