Yinka Shonibare MBE

Biography of Yinka Shonibare MBE

After growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, Yinka Shonibare MBE (born 1962 in London, UK) moved back to London where he studied at Byam Shaw School of Art and earned an MA from Goldsmith’s College in 1991. Shonibare fist became known for his distinctive use of batik and later for producing installation-based work that employs dance, costume, and conceptual and historiographical choreography to explore identity and gender politics. His costumed dioramas and multimedia works disrupt and challenge notions of cultural identity blending art history, literature, and philosophy. Taking on the honorific title MBE as part of his everyday name, Shonibare plays with the ambiguities and contradictions of his attitude toward the Establishment and its legacies of colonialism and class.


Among Yinka Shonibare MBE’s awards are the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), a fellowship at Goldsmith’s College and the Art for Architecture Award, Royal Society of Arts. In 2004 Shonibare was nominated for the Turner Prize.

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