Otobong Nkanga’s In Pursuit of Bling: Indulgence is a photographic work that shows the artist about to consume a precious mineral.

The stone is mica, an iridescent rock mined around the world for many uses, including that of giving added sparkle to cosmetics.

The themes of excessive consumption, exploitation and environmental catastrophe are typical of the concerns raised in Nkanga’s practice. Using sculpture, video, weaving, photography, painting and drawing, she investigates the impact of our existence on the planet, as well as on our fellow human beings. A particular focus of interest for Nkanga is the colonial and post-colonial extraction of minerals and oil on the continent of Africa.

Born in Nigeria, Nkanga studied art at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, and continued her studies at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris and DasArts in Amsterdam. She now lives and works in Antwerp.

In Pursuit of Bling: Indulgence resonates with many works in MIMA’s collection, which has strong connections to the city’s historic role as an industrial, shipping and mining centre.

It also makes an important step in increasing the diversity of artists represented by the gallery.


The work is consigned to In Situ - Fabienne Leclerc, Paris and owned by Otobong Nkanga. In-Situ Gallery represent the artist. It was on display in MIMA exhibition Fragile Earth: seeds, weeds, plastic crust 29 June to 29 September 2019.

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