Hyperallergic - Interview - March 27, 2018
For more than 25 years, British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE has been making work incorporating Dutch wax batik fabrics, a material layered with cultural influences. Originally manufactured by textile companies in the Netherlands to mimic Javanese designs and appeal to the Indonesian market, the fabrics instead became so popular in West Africa that they are commonly believed to have originated there — making them a powerful metaphor for global trade, migration, interconnectivity, and the enduring legacies of European colonialism. Taking inspiration from these Dutch wax fabrics, Shonibare has created “Wind Sculpture (SG) I” (2018), the latest in a series of monumental outdoor works. Commissioned by the Public Art Fund, it was unveiled at Doris C. Freedman Plaza at the southeast corner of Central Park earlier this month and will remain through mid-October.