Known for works that suggest human flesh, bodily functions, and spirituality, ’s
practice spanned sculpture, installation, performance, video, and poetry. Tunga studied architecture at the University of Santa Úrsula in Rio de Janeiro, but turned to visual arts. In 1974, the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro held his first solo exhibition, titled “Museu da Masturbação Infantil” (“Museum of Childhood Masturbation”).Juxtaposing natural elements like wood, iron, steel, cotton, wax, and rubber, Tunga’s sculptural works allude to universal experiences within the natural world. In the 1980s, Tunga created sculptural works and installations that visually mimic human hair—straightened hair strands caught in combs, as well as long, winding braids made from materials like from copper, lead, and brass. Tunga developed surrealistic performances that illustrated the connections between people—in many cases, women—and their surroundings. This output included one of his most well-known performance works, Xifópagas Capilares entre Nós
(“Capillary Xiphopagus among Us”) (1984), where two young twin girls are conjoined by their hair. Tunga showed his work at the Louvre
in Paris in 2005, with the monumental hanging installation À La Lumière des Deux Mondes
(“At the Light of Both Worlds”).