Nzingah Oniwosan : Around the Diaspora and Back

Nzingah” was created during a summer hiatus, where thoughts became manifestations and manifestations became what people adorned themselves with…

My work as a jewelry designer is an extension of my work as a visual artist.  I am influenced by my Haitian heritage and my love and appreciation for African and Asian culture. I am inspired by myriad of colors, texture, and movement found in the pieces from those regions. Jewelry for me is a sculpture whose pedestal is the human form.”

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Nzingah Oniwosan, a Haitian American artist, has been drawing since she was a young child as has not stopped since. This initial artistic inclination has blossomed into a multi-faceted artist extraordinaire. Nzingah continues as a visual artist, jewelry designer, curator, teaching artist and an advocate for adults and children with disabilities participating in the arts. She has partnered with two wonderful organizations that I too have had the pleasure and privilege of working with: Arts for Learning Miami, and Very Special Arts Florida.

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“Within my artistic world, there are ever expanding and contracting themes. There remains however, one constant and that is the desire for my art to plant the seed of imagery that makes a profound impact on the way people think. My search for identity began in Haiti but did not end there. I found myself traveling across the Atlantic to Africa and in making that metaphoric journey I was able to see myself not as a Haitian American but as an African of the Diaspora. In my comprehension of the circumstances, I recognized much was lost; language, beliefs, dress, rituals, the basic essential culture.”

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I love the quote above from Nzingah – every breath of these statements is apparent in her pieces. Her truth can be both worn and felt through these manifestations of her exploration of cultural identity. Certain color schemes and material choices are quite Haitian – yet Haitian roots and many prevailing customs and cultural traits are African. The elegant duplicity – or better yet, the elegant self-awareness and nod to the current and mother culture is crafted and manifested both carefully and beautifully to produce stand out results.

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All images courtesy of Nzingah Oniwosan.

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2 Comments on Nzingah Oniwosan : Around the Diaspora and Back

  1. Livia Monteiro // July 29, 2014 at 8:53 AM // Reply

    nice pics!

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