Tonye Ekine is a Nigerian artist who was educated at the Camberwell College of Arts and now resides and works in London.
His work develops immersive, outlandish scenes with an unsettling paradox that speaks to contemporary social problems and conundrums in a post-colonial world.
His art explores themes such as identity, decolonization, legacy, masks, and the various contemporary mask forms. Using references from well-known works of popular culture, Tonye uses a variety of viewpoints to bring the Ife bronze mask to life as the lenses through which the scenarios are re-enacted. He sets up a stage and invites the public in as both observers and participants to find themselves and decipher the meaning behind each work, much like a game master might.
"I think I am a storyteller. I always like to create scenarios that would never exist. I assemble these elements in one piece to start a conversation."