Anthonia Chinasa Nneji (b. 1994) in Imo State, Nigeria, contemporary Nigerian artist Tonia Nneji comes from a long line of traditional carvers and masquerade carriers. Following the family tradition of artistry, she graduated with a B.A (Hons) in Visual Arts from the University of Lagos, Nigeria in 2016. Known for her use of bold colours and intricate patterns, Nneji’s work explores the relationship between trauma and the female body. Nneji’s works have been featured in prominent publications such as Nation Newspaper, Vanguard, and the Guardian and in 2017, she was celebrated on BBC Africa during the ‘International Women’s Day’. Her work was also profiled by prolific Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie in her essay ‘The New Guard’ published by Harper’s Bazaar in 2020. In 2018, Nneji was awarded the Ronke Ekwensi Fellowship in New Jersey and her work was presented at the FNB Art Joburg in South Africa and Miami Art Basel in Florida, USA in 2019. During the same year, Nneji participated in Rele Arts Foundation’s Young Contemporaries program. In 2020, she also exhibited in the first-ever Young Contemporaries Alumni Exhibition at the National Museum, Lagos.
Nneji was recently a part of the artists selected for the Art Dubai Residency program curated by Johannesburg-based Kabelo Malatsie and her works are widely collected both locally and internationally. She lives and works in Lagos.