Monsur Awotunde

Region: Midwest

City / State: Shepherd, MI

My work explores the themes of home, travel, desire, and memory. My current body of work, Moving Entities, explores the idea of relocation and dislocation through abstraction. The relocation from one continent to another, and from one country to another country, the dramatic cultural shift, the absence of one’s basic and essential foods, are felt deeply as one finds himself in the presence of starkly different substitutes.

The earliest works of the project are acrylic paintings characterized by paper collage and images of foods from Nigeria and the United States.

The most recent pieces are embedded with various detritus, such as paper, polythene, plastic, and jute bags—all of which are commonly used in the transportation of food products, especially in Nigeria and the US. The materiality of the work highlights the metaphorical notions of travel: the migration of people and the movement of foods as commodities for human consumption.

Working within the language of abstraction, the paintings present cultural and social elements of identity through traditional Nigerian foods and their American substitutes.