Ogunwo’s Solo Exhibition Rocks Abuja


Yinka Olatunbosun

For art enthusiasts in Abuja, the latest solo exhibition which opened yesterday is a must-see. Titled, “More Than Meets Eye’’, Bolaji Ogunwo’s latest show is his fourth solo exhibition. With over 50 group exhibitions in the portfolio, this painter is fired up by the personal zest to liven up the International Institute for Creative Development (IICD) Federal Capital Territory, Abuja which is the venue for the month-long show.

The bulk of the works in this exhibition has been inspired by the upsurge in migration. Many who seemed to have decent jobs as professionals are leaving the Nigerian shores in hope of greener pastures.

“Like never before certain embassies are bombarded daily by Nigerians in a bid to obtain visas, not for vacation but obviously for permanent relocation due to the lingering challenges ranging from corruption and banditry to incessant killings that permeate the nation,” says the artist in a statement.

“Nothing seems to be working. Nevertheless, there is more than meets the eye. There are hidden treasures underneath that are yet to manifest. All we need to succeed as a nation are within. Places don’t make people, people make places.’’

In this body of works, Ogunwo presents issues faced by Nigerians in a visual satire. Migration is indeed a global challenge that requires intervention from non-political players like artists such as Ogunwo to light up the conversation. Some of his realistic abstract works include “Common Ground,’’ “Swift,” “Ecstasy,’’ “Colour Code,’’ “Focus’’ and “Flashback”.

The Chief Curator, IICD Centre, Nduwhite Ndubuisi stated that with this exhibition, Ogunwo is “corroborating one of the ideologies of the IICD centre, captured by Kandinsky Wassily who says, ‘The artist must have something to say, for mastery over form is not his goal but rather the adapting of form to its inner meaning.’’