• New York

    526 West 26th Street, Suite 718
    New York, NY 10001, USA

    Due to concerns relating to the spread of Covid-19, the Project Space is closed until further notice. Please check back for additional updates and more information.

  • Neu-Ulm

    Reichenauerstr. 21
    89233 Neu-Ulm, Germany

    Due to concerns relating to the spread of Covid-19, the exhibition premises are closed until further notice. Please check back for additional updates and more information.

  • Publications
  • Touring

Ojeikere, J.D. 'Okhai

Biography

Nigerian, 1930–2014

Details

Shortly after Nigeria gained its independence from Britain in 1960, J. D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere began a remarkable self-assigned project: to record systematically key elements of his native Nigerian culture during the experience of postcolonial cultural transition. In 1968, without any specific anthropological or scholarly agenda, he initiated an immense effort to document Nigerian women’s hairstyles. Across the next forty years, he compiled over 1,000 photographs of braided, twisted, and wrapped hair, with each sculptural expression referencing a particular component of Nigerian life—from its various ethnic groups to the expanding shapes of the Lagos skyline. Formally similar, these highly detailed photographs are generally shot close up, centered from behind, and exposed against a stark white or black background, emphasizing the intricacy and architectural fantasy of the elaborate hair designs. "Hairstyles are an art form," Ojeikere has said. "[But] all these hairstyles are ephemeral. I want my photographs to be noteworthy traces of them. I always wanted to record moments of beauty, moments of knowledge."

Artworks by Ojeikere, J.D. 'Okhai

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.