Chioma Ebinama

Chioma Ebinama was born to first generation Nigerian parents and grew up in the dense Nigerian community of Maryland. Her multidisciplinary studio practice ranges from works on paper to soft sculpture. She is interested in understanding the role of the African artist in negotiating the representations of the black female body in Western culture. Moreover, her work explores how visual narrative and crafts create space for the fractured sense of identity inherent to those whose histories have been obscured by American and European hegemony over African history.

Chioma Ebinama makes figurative watercolors on paper to explore drawing and visual narrative as a meditative practice and tool for self-liberation. Raised in the United States by Nigerian Christian immigrants, she is drawn to the aesthetic of formalized religion for its potential to celebrate inner life. As she seeks to create new mythologies for the African Diaspora, her work is influenced by a myriad of sources, from West African cosmology, to folk art of the global South, to the visual language of Western religion and Eastern spiritual traditions. Also prevalent is her reflection on gender and queer identities through a figurative language influenced by surrealism and her Igbo heritage. The collision of aesthetics is indicative of Ebinama’s nomadic life in recent years as she breaths the air of Mexico, South Korea, India, Malaysia and Greece.

Ebinama has mounted solo exhibitions at Catinca Tabacaru (2018) and Fortnight Institute (2020) in New York City, at Boys’ Quarters Project Space in Port Harcourt, Nigeria (2019). Selected group shows include "Never Done: 100 Years of Women in Politics and Beyond", The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY (upcoming); "Alien Landscape", 303 Gallery, New York, NY (2020); "Ambra Nera", The Breeder, Athens. She is also in the process of illustrating a children’s book written by Kevin Young, the poetry editor of The New Yorker and director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, with "Make Me A World", an imprint of Random House books curated by artist Christopher Myers.

Works in the collection