​A​rts Exhibition: Chima meets Nwanne in Lagos Connections

Jimmy Uche Nwanne

The works of two Nigerian artists, Uchay Joel Chima and Jimmy Uche Nwanne, will go on display in a new exhibition of multimedia art works at Temple Muse, Lagos, on October 27.

The exhibition, titled ‘Connections’, will showcase a body of 37 crafted works on canvas and wood by the two artists whose world view touches on important social issues including gender equality, girl child education, and security.

“Chima and Nwanne are both talented Nigerian artists whose subtle lines and texture, kinetic colour and space bathed in light, bring us closer to humanity’s inner need to keep connected,” says Sandra Mbanefo-Obiago, the exhibition’s Curator.

“We feel a transcendence through their subtle and delicate technique that reminds us that we are all inextricably linked and inter-dependent.”

A mid-career artist, Chima graduated from the Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu, in 1997 where he majored in painting. His works have been featured in numerous shows and art residencies in Canada, US, and in Europe

Since becoming a full time studio artist in 2005, Chima has risen to become an award winning artist, garnering the Best Video Art Award in 2009 at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos.

“I am interested in social and environmental issues, and my work revolves around these,” says Chima, 43.

“I have often questioned the issues of social crisis and inequality around the globe and have looked for ways to promote oneness and equality through my work.

Some of Chima’s works to be exhibited include ‘The Village was burnt down,’ where he highlighted the insecurity in North Eastern Nigeria; ‘No Strings Attached,’ a celebration of womanhood; ‘Ashes of Yesterday,’ in which he attempted to reflect on the “good old days;” among others.

Presenting alongside Chima during the exhibition is Nwanne, a Germany based Nigerian artist who studied Fine and Applied Arts.

In Connections, Nwanne, 25, presents large portraits of people in thought and motion on finely textured canvases that come alive with colour and finely inscribed poetry.

Some of his works which highlights various aspects of the human condition include ‘Dreams,’ ‘Liberation,’ ‘Despair,’ ‘Deep,’ ‘Tomorrow,’ among others.

Nwanne describes his art as an avenue to let his thoughts and imaginations “run far and wild” before he grabs hold of them through painting.

“The society we live in and the things we value in the society shapes my creativity, which goes beyond the surface appearance of my work,” says Nwanne, a 2010 graduate of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Connections is a demonstration of what is trending in African art, according to Ms. Mbanefo-Obiago.

“Chima’s subtle figure drawings alongside his chunky, heavy newspaper and charcoal diptychs juxtapose seamlessly with Nwanne’s intense paint dripped canvases which have a dense, heavy quality,” Mrs. Mbanefo-Obiago says.

“Connections is our third show this year in which we have showcased Nigerian artists active here and in the diaspora.”

The exhibition, which is supported by Ruinart, will run till November 25.

“We are proud to showcase Chima’s amazing experimental art and host Nwanne’s first exhibition in Nigeria,” says Avinash Wadhwani, Director, Temple Muse.

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