Oct 30, 2023, Lagos, Nigeria — Showing at 16by16 in the heart of Victoria Island, Lagos, Fresco is pleased to present “Young Contemporary Printmakers” an exhibition of art prints by Nigerian artists based in Nigeria and the diaspora, Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu, Wanger Ayu, Nkem Okwechime, Tosin Oyeniyi and Nneka Chima.
Printmaking as an artform can be intriguing. For the artist, it offers a tangible way to document process, in a way paintings and drawings wouldn’t. It also offers wider distribution as a single body of work can be show in more than one physical location. For the collector and art lover, it offers new mediums and expressions to discover and, democratizes art, making it more accessible to a wider audience, which can be particularly empowering for emerging collectors.
Interestingly, printmaking has a rich history in Nigeria. With printmaking masters like Sir Bruce Onabrakpeya who continues to inspire and educate the next generation through his Harmattan Worksop in Delta State, Nigeria. The Young Contemporary Printmakers show invites you to see, know, and appreciate printmaking as an atform and also recognize artist telling important and personal stories through their individual printmaking practice.
Wanger Ayu (b. 1986) is a self-taught materials experiment artist & a fashion designer. Her mediums of expression combine the exploration of the hand-woven textiles, with painting, print-making, beading, transfer & collage.
Wanger was born in the vibrant city of Jos, Plateau state, Nigeria – which was known for its cosmopolitan nature and encouragement of the arts. She studied law at the University of Exeter, UK, but lacking fulfillment, she explored fashion in the Middle East, where she earned a fashion certification from the French Fashion University (ESMOD), Dubai. In all this, Wanger continued exploring her artistic talent through sketches and hobbyist paintings as gifts for friends and family.
She has been mentored by some of Nigeria’s old and young masters, including Professor Bruce Onobrakpeya and Mr. Sam Ovraiti through the Harmattan Workshop Series. Some of her influences include Magdalena Abakanowicz, Collins Sekajugo, Abass Kelani, and Billie Zangewa.
Wanger’s art has been featured in art exhibitions in Lagos, Abidjan, Abuja, and London. Her works are in private collections within Nigeria and internationally.
Yadichima Ukoha Kalu
Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu is an experimental multi-media artist based in Lagos.
Yadichinma often creates multi-dimensional environments that combine abstract elements, textures, and materials to interact with one another. Her interest in the process of creation inspires her to approach life and her surroundings with a child-like sense of wonder and curiosity.
Yadichinma’s fascination with materials drives her to expand her knowledge and understanding of the objects around her, as she believes that each object holds its own world and system.
Nneka Chima (b. 1986) employs linocut printmaking as a visual language and storytelling tool.
Nneka discovered this medium while studying at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, and has since mastered the intricate technique, evident in her stylistic consistency and attention to detail.
She embraces realism, surrealism, and abstraction to create a sentimental longing and evoke memories, often depicted through distorted figures, bold patterns, floral landscapes, and vibrant colours.
Nneka’s art has been featured in art exhibitions in Lagos, New Orleans, and Abuja.
Art enthusiast, archivist, and self-taught printmaker Tosin Oyeniyi hails from Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria, where he spent his childhood and teenage years.
He is a meticulous Printmaker with a Fine and Applied Arts degree and graduated as a Graphics Specialist from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University (Ile-Ife), Nigeria.
He blends naturalism and post-expressionism as he colorfully and ingeniously shares the rich and vast African beauty, stories, sceneries, and cultures with the world through his linocut prints.
Tosin’s art has been featured in art exhibitions in Lagos, Tunisia, New York City, and more.
Nkem Okwechime (b. 1996) is as a distinctive voice to watch in contemporary printmaking.
Born in vibrant South London and raised in Scotland, Nkem’s artistic journey commenced at the age of 18, when he first delved into the intricate world of printmaking. This passion led into a formal education at the University of Glasgow School of Arts, where he majored in painting and printmaking. A testament to his talent, Nkem was honored with the Glasgow Print Studio Prize Award.
Nkem’s body of work, the “Ikenga” series, arose from a deep exploration of masks and icons rooted in his Ibo heritage. For the artist, it is an obligation to present facets of his Nigerian heritage to Western audiences, mirroring the saturation of Western culture worldwide.
Drawing inspiration from a mix of expressions, spanning from the avant-garde strokes of the DADA Movement to the influence of his own grandfather and Ibo lineage, Nkem employs a unique screen-printing style, experimenting with surfaces such as ceramics and fabrics.
We are a contemporary art gallery presenting art prints and editions by young, inventive African artists. We aim to make more art accessible and encourage a new generation of African art collectors.
Inages of exhibition space
Image of artists and artworks (available on request)