Friday, March 12, 2010

One Nigerian Boy Visits Uchay Joel Chima

I got introduced to Nigerian multimedia artist, Uchay Joel Chima’s work whilst I was working with designer Maki Osakwe for her Debut Collection presentation held at Artistic License art gallery Lagos. Two of his works; In view of our habitat 1 & Issues of Life were on display and I was provoked by them. I did earlier posts on them but finally got the chance to visit the artist in his studio this week.

I exchanged a couple of phone calls with him prior to the day of the meeting to get directions to his studio and when the day came I arrived on time for the chance meeting with one of Nigeria’s best talents. He was wearing paint stained camo fatigue shorts and a white tee, probably his typical attire when he’s at work. We started our chat with one of his works ‘Burn down the earth’ [Pictured first from the top] where he explained the motivation behind the work being global warming and concern for how we can take care of the earth.

The next work we approached was ‘Exploiting the earth’ [Pictured second from the top]. The wheels depict earth moving machines used in the degradation of the earth’s surface either for mining or during war. The third image from the top is titled “Habitat Loss” and has similar eco message while the 4th “Global Village” which I got to sign on was done in 2007 and depicts how interconnected the whole world is via mobile phones and internet technology.

The 5th work below shows the artist standing beside his 1st charcoal installation titled “Let there be light” done in 2008 in response to the erratic power supply Lagos was facing. The work depicted the Lagos skyline at night from an aerial view, with the bits of color showing the little parches of light provided by people who had power generators.

Uchay Joel Chima maintains that as a conceptive artist his work is not based on the material he employs but rather the picture you are able to get from it. When asked about the level of reception art is receiving in Nigeria, he shrugged and said, “Art does well when the economy is doing well”. He did also point out the fact that art education is not taken seriously in Nigerian schools anymore and the only way to revive the culture would be to go back to schools and start educating the kids from a young age.

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  1. Stunning Stunning Art work. What an experience!

  2. I've always loved and highly respected the sporadic nature of Uchay's creative prowess.

    The whole story has never been told. The world is yet to see you!

    Nice 1 Bro!!!


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