Gerald Chukwuma (b. 1973) lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria. He graduated in 2003 with First Class Honours from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Chukwuma is one of Nigeria's fastest rising contemporary artists, noted for his intricately crafted sculptures on wood panels. The materials he chooses are common enough; however, using in his unique way a range of techniques — including burning, chiselling and painting — he captures a richly layered history that is imbedded with personal and political meaning. The use of traditional Uli and Nsibidi symbols links his work to the Nsukka art tradition which is credited with expanding and modernising the Igbo cultural aesthetic. Meanwhile, the transformation of found objects into highly detailed artworks roots him firmly in the contemporary moment, with its concern for rapid environmental and ecological change.
Solo Exhibitions include Eclipse of the Scrolls, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery (London Bridge), London (2021); IKWOKIRIKWO: THE DANCE OF SPIRITS, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Berlin (2020); Wrinkles, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London (2019); Standing Ovation, Gallery 1957, Accra (2017); People’s Paradise, Temple Muse, Lagos (2016); Soaking Up Beauty, Constant Capital, Lagos (2014) and Highlife II, Ethnocentrique, Lagos (2013).
Group exhibitions Travels with Herodotus - A Journey through African Cultures, Galleria Bianconi, Milano ; ENTER FAIR ART with Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Copenhagen; Untitled art San Francisco with Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, San Francisco ; include 1-54 London with Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery (2019); Kubatana, curated by Kristin Hjellegjerde, Vesfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Norway (2019); A Journey into Contemporary African Art, Belvedere Art Space, Beirut, Lebanon (2010); Art X Lagos, Civic Center Lagos (2018); The Art Story, Cartool Art Gallery, UAE (2018); Essentials, Alexis Galleries, Lagos (2015); The Contemporaries, The Wheatbeaker, Lagos (2015); Today In History, Thought Pyramid Art Centre, Abuja (2015); Music Lesson, Alexis Gallery, Lagos (2012); Highlife I, Exhibition of Designs and Art, Ethnocentrique, Lagos (2011); Heden Daagse Afrikaanse Kunst, Amsterdam (2010); Pachakucha: Inspire Japan, Terra Kulture, Lagos (2009); Reclaiming Africa, Goethe-Institute, Lagos (2009); In Pursuit of Knowledge, Civic Centre, Lagos (2009); Africa Now, The World Bank, Washington, D.C (2009); Moderne Afrikansu Kunst, Danish Center for Culture and Development, Copenhagen (2009); Mouling Matter, Pan African University, Lagos (2008); and The Unbreakable Nigerian Spirit, Galarie 23, Amsterdam (2008).
Highlights and Collections
Chukwuma's work belongs to prominent collections such as of Beth Rudin de Woody, USA; The Hague, Netherland; Easton Capital/ John Friedman Collection; Pan African University Lagos; Seth Dei Foundation, Accra; University of Nigeria Nsukka; The World Bank Collection, Washington D.C; Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art (YSMA) Nigeria; Hearst Corporation and Museum Azman, Kuala Lumpur.