A self-taught visual artist, Chris Iduma uses photography to explore identity, history, and socio-political issues. The exhibition presents two recent bodies of work by the artist: “Self Portraits”, in which Iduma creates compositions with multiple figures to consider complex issues around identity, and, “Ladies and Gentlemen”, an exploration of youth culture living in Lagos.
In “Self Portraits”, Iduma plays with perception, bringing together two different human subjects (sometimes strangers who have never met before) to create one complex portrait as a way to express his own feelings of identity as a Nigerian, and a perceived outsider.
In the series, “Ladies and Gentlemen”, Iduma continues his exploration through portraiture to capture a sense of the contemporary youth culture living in Nigeria. These portraits consider the different layers of contemporary life in his country, where fashion collides with the frenetic energy of a young population. Iduma’s portraits give hints to this new generation coming of age in one of the most exciting countries in West Africa today.
Iduma believes that identity is not ‘linear’, and instead envisions it as a map for navigating every subject. Using layering, he reveals contradictions inherent in the lives of his subjects, commenting on how they negotiate their sense of identity through an interplay of beauty, gender, race, and history, which are at the intersection of their selfhood.
Through these powerful, yet simple compositions, Iduma creates a platform that challenges one’s perceptions, perspectives and assumptions, while celebrating black essence and authenticity.
Chris Iduma is a Leica Oskar Barnack New Comer Awards 2021 nominee. He is also one of the eight black recipients of the John Herrin Memorial Scholarship 2021 invited to attend FotoFest, The Meeting Place Portfolio Review in Houston Texas. Iduma’s work was also featured in the British Journal of Photography’s exhibition, ‘Open Walls Arles’ in 2021. His photographs are included in the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH) collection.