Nigerian Photographer JD Okhai Ojeikere


Johannesburg art gallery, Gallery MOMO, will be hosting a retrospective exhibition by Nigerian photographer JD Okhai Ojeikere in the coming New Year.

From 3 February until 28 March 2011 the Gallery invites visitors to come and explore JD Okhai’s work. The exhibition is titled “Sartorial Moments and the Nearness of Yesterday” and will feature a poignant selection of images that interact with modern notions and nationalism through fashion.

JD Okhai recently celebrated his 80th birthday and is well-known for his documentation of Nigerian hairstyles common in the 60s and 70s. “Sartorial Moments” was jointly curated by CCA (Centre for Contemporary Art) artistic director, Bisi Silva, Gallery MOMO curator and director, Monna Mokoena and Foto Ojeikere. The exhibition is intended to serve as a reminder to the public that Ojeikere also recorded the independence era fashions with his camera lens.

The pictures will feature Nigerian and Western dressing styles along with the ever-present head-ties and hairstyles. CCA’s Bisi Silva said that the exhibition will be a celebration of the various periods of the country’s cultural history. The exhibition will also mark Nigeria’s Golden Jubilee, and celebrate 60 years of “innovative photographic practice” for the master photographer, affectionately known as Pa Ojeikere.

Pa Ojeikere began taking photos professionally in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State in the 50s. He used a camera that he bought for two pounds sterling. With every click of his camera he rapidly moved towards becoming the father of Nigerian photography and now has over 5000 images in his archives. His artistic photos of hairstyles such as Onilegogoro have reached iconic status.

Tam Fiofori, acclaimed Nigerian photographer and art critic dubs Okhai Ojeikere a “master documentary photographer,” one who is a “true pioneer in this genre of photography” and “who undertook self-sponsored documentary projects with an eye and vision on the future and permanent relevance”.

The photographer’s work has been showcased worldwide in a number of countries including Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Japan and France. If you want to experience this artist’s work make sure you visit the Gallery MOMO next year.

Gallery MOMO: 52, 7th Avenue, Parktown North.

If you want to fin out more information feel free to contact the gallery on 011 327 3247 or email them on [email protected]

Jade Scully
Jade Scully is a copywriter excited about writing copy and stories, blogging about the world and editing. She currently and regularly publishes her stories on a number of blogs. Jade loves animals and hopes to begin writing copy for the animal rescue charity TEARS as her contribution to the cause.
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