James Iroha Uchechukwu is a Nigerian photographer. He was born in 1972 in Enugu. For of his photographic approach, his support to young photographers and the passing of his knowledge, he is regarded at the beginning of the 21st century as someone that has broadened the horizon of Nigerian photography.
Study and career
Uchechukwu started to study in sculpture in 1990 at the Art Academy of the University of Port Harcourt. He obtained his degree in 1996, and directly afterwards continued study in what is now his current profession, photography. In his work, Uchechukwu melts together the reproduction of common reality with the creative ‘language’ of the imagination, whereby he extends the possibilities of photography and is giving a new direction to local art.
He is cofounder of Depth of Field (DOF), a collective of photographers and artist painters. He took the initiative himself by bringing together six talented young photographers. He organized several exhibitions of their work in Nigeria as well as abroad. Furthermore he teaches photography by giving seminars and workshops.
In 2004 presented a series of award winning photo’s on butcher’s shops in the open air in Lagos, with the name Fire, Flesh and Blood. The photo series initially had a documentary character, but got the public’s attentions as well because of its artistic mélange of colorful and smokey close-ups. The 2008 jury of the Prince Claus Fund describes the photo series as intense, cru, powerful and poetic.
In 2005 Uchechukwu received the Élan Price on the African Photography Encounters in Mali for his work Fire, Flesh and Blood. In 2008 he was honored with a Prince Claus Award from the Netherlands.
Uchechukwu participated in several exhibitions. Here follows a selection:
- 2005: Depth of Field, South London Gallery, London
- 2005: Un autre monde/Another World: VI Rencontres africaines de la photographie de Bamako, Maison Africaine de la Photographie & Centre de Cultura Contemporània, Bamako
- 2006: 1st Singapore Biennale, Singapore
- 2007: 2nd International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Seville (BIACS 2): The Unhomely: Phantom Scenes in Global Society, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville
- 2007: Lens on Life: From Bamako to San Francisco, Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco
- 2008: Travesia, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
- 2008: Snap Judgments, by Okwui Enwezor, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
- 2009: 8th Bamako Encounters, Biennial of African Photography-Borders, Bamako
- African American Visual Artists Database, list of exhibitions
- Universe in Universe, 1st Singapre Biennale
- Power of Culture (December 2008) Photographer James Iroha Uchechukwu and the shape of blank spaces