BusinessDay

Iconic Lagos opens at Didi Museum this September

Iconic Lagos, an art project organised by Eyes of a Lagos Boy is billed to hold at Didi Museum, Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, from September 17-25, 2022.

The multi-media exhibition is dedicated to Lagos, the largest city in Africa, the economic and cultural heart of Nigeria. Iconic Lagos is about celebrating everyday life in Lagos, honoring its inhabitants and exploring what makes the city unique.

The organiser of the exhibition, The Eyes of a Lagos Boy, documents history from the African perspective, and works towards a balanced representation. Speaking at the exhibition, Bolaji Alonge, founder, Eyes of a Lagos Boy, explained, “Defining our own image is one way of taking charge of our future. Iconic Lagos presents an alternative narrative that will remain tattooed on the viewers’ retina. Celebrating the beauty around us in spite of everyday challenges and the current global instability is not a luxury, it is a necessity.”

Iconic Lagos consists of three elements; photography by Bolaji Alonge, mixed media images by Jason Ogbazi/Alonge and artworks by other artists, who are also expressing their own vision of Iconic Lagos.

A call for submissions was published in July and about 400 entries were received that show the ‘Centre of Excellence’ as a source of inspiration. A selection of 20 artworks by artists from US, India, South Africa, Belgium, Benin Republic, UK, Abuja, Osogbo and Lagos will be presented as part of the exhibition, all others will be displayed in a digital format. “The artists all capture the idea of Lagos that we intend to showcase and we are proud to work with these amazing talents. Over the years, I have encouraged young Nigerians to take up the camera to express themselves. Opening up my platform to others is a natural next step”, Alonge added.

The exhibition runs every day from 10am to 6pm and entry is free of charge.

Speaking on the events of the exhibition, Alonge said that on September 17, 2022, the exhibition will open with a specially curated performance by Wannixhandi & Jeanshiki Couture by 4 pm.

It will be an iconic opening, birthday celebration and opportunity to meet the artists and experience the Eyes of a Lagos Boy vibe.

On September 20, 2022, there will be a visual storytelling masterclass with the participation of seasoned photographers, while children will be in the spotlight on September 24, 2022 with an art workshop for children between 5-15 years.

The workshop for young artists and art lovers will feature three hours of fun, learning about colors and composition.

Meanwhile, Bolaji Alonge is an artist, photographer and actor from Lagos, with more than two decades of experience in documenting history. In May 2017, he presented his maiden “Eyes of a Lagos Boy”, a solo exhibition, at Freedom Park in Lagos. His second solo exhibition “Urban Culture – Historical Continuity” was held at One Draw Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos in November 2018.

Read also: New York museum acquires Angèle Etoundi Essamba’s three photographs for its collection

In February 2019, Bolaji showcased his work at Baza Studio in New York. A third solo exhibition, “Black & White” was held at Quintessence, Lagos in July 2019. He presented “Afrobeat: The Legacy” at Freedom Park in Lagos during Felabration 2019, dedicated to Femi Anikulapo-Kuti, Fela Kuti‘s eldest son.

Together with 7 other photographers, Bolaji showcased “Nigeria Trending” at the Lagos Fringe Festival in November 2020, covering the #EndSARS protest. In February 2021, he showed “Street Flowers of Lagos” at Temple Muse.

Greener Pastures, dedicated to riverine communities in Lagos, was first held at Didi Museum, Lagos to critical acclaim in September 2021, as well as part of the Lagos Fringe Festival and ICAB Biennale in November-December 2021. Greener Pastures was also presented at the IREP 2022 documentary festival.

In the same vein, Jason Nnamdi Ogbazi is an accomplished artist and designer born in Nigeria. While in the UK for his higher education, he started working alongside top fashion photographers and designers. This experience set the tone for his further artistic development. He constantly strives to create sophisticated images and designs that embody class and originality.

The artists invited to participate in Iconic Lagos as a result of the call for submission include: Adepegba David, Akande John, Akinsola Olamilekan, Ananou Jean-fidele, Awosola Michael Angello, FaloreAyokunle, Folami Razak, Gaspard Koutchika, Genco Sanli, Holly Muse, Joydeep Bose, and Kola Onifoto.

Others are: Lanre Lawal, Motolani Bello, Mpumelelo Buthelezi, OC George, OlaosunOluwapelumi, Olaosun Pelumi,, OluwayemisiOnadipe, Samuel Okechukwu and Tosan Dundun-Tblack.

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