Saturday 21 August 2021

For Wheatbaker's 10th anniversary, Famuyiwa, Kalu capture 'Vantage Point' Lagos.

'Metamorphosis' by Bernard Kalu. Pic: c/o of SMO.

OYEBOLA Famuyiwa and Bernard Kalu join Wheatbaker in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the hotel. 

The anniversary takes photography  format in a two-artist exhibition titled  Vantage Point, opening on August 28, and ending October 24, 2021.

Curated by SMO Contemporary Art, the exhibition showcases unique aerial and terrestrial perspectives of Lagos, one of the world’s 20 largest cities.

SMO stated that Famuyiwa and Kalu explore the culture, history, and aesthetics of Lagos with 25 spectacular photographs shot from unique perspectives and angles which reveal the patterns, colors, textures and complexity of this vibrant metropolis with its ever expanding population and critical environmental challenges.  The photographs, SMO explained, reflect brief moments of spontaneity captured by these two self-taught photographers who have been working in tandem for a number of years. Vantage Point is a testament to their connection with the city, and their ability to document from above and below the mebrane of Lagos’ ever changing socio-cultural landscape.

“After ten years of showcasing leading and emerging Nigerian talent, we are excited to celebrate our anniversary  with glimpses of Lagos from the sky,” commented Mosun Ogunbanjo, Wheatbaker Director. “Vantage Point is a study of a traumatized ecosystem resting and regenerating. The breathtaking views capture the peace embodied within Lagos.”

“Both artists are strikingly different, but complementary. Their diverse narratives remind us of the importance of perception,” added Nneoma Ilogu, the exhibition curator. “Each image encourages us to look past the surface to what lies beneath. An opportunity to cast our gaze upward, and hope or dream of something better. These two trail blazers are a critical addition to the broadening canon of photography of Lagos and makes us appreciate and see both the macro- and micro-scopic realities of Lagos, from unique perspective.”

Oyebola Famuyiwa, known for his aerial photography, graduated with a degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from the University of Ibadan. His photos have been featured in numerous exhibitions including the “China-Nigeria Friendship in Pictures” Photography Competition in 2019, the British Council 2011 iCreative Expo, and the Lagos Photo “Amateur Photography Competition” the same year. His photos were also featured in the  2009 “Life In My City” Art Festival (LIMCAF). He currently manages ArtbyOye (Fine Art Photography), Potterclay Photography (Lifestyle and Events) and PixBus (a Mobile Photo Booth situated in a 1979 VolksWagen Bus).

Bernard Kalu is a documentary photographer, who graduated from Enugu State University with a Bachelors in Computer Engineering. He began street documentary and wedding photography in 2014 and is an official Fujifilm Global X-Photographer, a certified Canon Miraisha master storyteller, VII Academy Foundry alumni, and first runner up in the 2017 NATGEO Portfolio Review.  Kalu has worked for The Lancet, Bloomberg, IFAD, MyAfricanPassport Inc., and NBNL. He exhibited his works at the Revolving Art Gallery, Lagos, in 2017, and is a member of Diversify Photo (a global collective of BIPOC visual Journalists) and African Photojournalism Database (a joint project by World Press Photo and Everyday Africa).

“Bernard Kalu’s images provide a sensory overload of quotidian conditions for the majority of Lagosians. His photographs shed light on certain nuances, themes and moments that experienced Lagosians will glean,” commented Asibi Danjuma, an Art Writer and Founder of PHÍLOS Art and Booksellers. “In contrast to Kalu, Oyebola Famuyiwa’s images are from an eye-level that is intriguing and expansive. Elements of the city that are characteristically dysfunctional are from this perspective almost rhythmical.”

 The exhibition is supported by the Wheatbaker and Louis Guntrum wines.

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