ArtsNigeria Guide

Iké Udé’s work spotlighting Nollywood set for US exhibition

‘Nollywood Portraits’, a collection spotlighting the country’s movie industry by Iké Udé, the US-based Nigerian photographer, is set for exhibition in America.

According to a statement sent to TheCable Lifestyle on Thursday, the portraits would be on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in Washington as from February 5, 2022 till February 2023.

Osahon Akpata, project director of ‘Nollywood Portraits’, said the move would help promote Nigeria and its cultural heritage to the world.

“We are very excited to join the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in celebrating these Nigerian film industry personalities in the classic, elegant style Iké Udé has perfected,” Akpata said.

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“The radical beauty of these portraits is intended to make a bold statement about the portrayal of our people at the highest art and cultural institutions in the world.”

Actress Genevieve Nnaji, one of the portraits for the exhibition
Actress Genevieve Nnaji, one of the portraits for the exhibition

Akpata also disclosed that there would be a virtual global launch event of the exhibition on February 11.

He said this would feature an interactive session with Udé and four Nollywood stars who would further explore various aspects of the work.

In ‘Nollywood Protraits’, Udé examines the immense potentials of the movie industry and the talented individuals driving the sector.

Ngaire Blankenberg, director of the National Museum of African Art, said the exhibition is timely to celebrate the heroics of Africans on the occasion of this year’s Black History Month.

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Black History Month is annual event dedicated to celebrate the contributions of African Americans to the United States.

“Black History Month is an opportunity to reflect on the contributions of African people across the globe to art, to history, to culture and to our common humanity,” Blankenberg said.

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Photo shows L-R: Iké Udé, Late Actor Sadiq Daba and Osahon Akpata, Project Director of the Nollywood Portraits during the exclusive preview of the exhibition in Lagos in 2019
Photo shows L-R: Iké Udé, Late Actor Sadiq Daba and Osahon Akpata, Project Director of the Nollywood Portraits during the exclusive preview of the exhibition in Lagos in 2019

“Whether he turns his camera on himself, flowers or the talented stars of Nollywood, Iké Udé presents a world of beauty, and most powerfully, a world that centres onAfrican beauty.”

In addition to Udé’s portraits, the exhibition will feature fashion, film clips and interviews with top Nollywood stars including Alexx Ekubo and Taiwo Ajai-Lycett.

Udé is popular for his performative and iconoclastic style as well as vibrant sense of composition. His photographs use colour, attire and other markers to make elegant yet unexpected portraits.

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