Forward to the Past : Re -Engaging Uli in new Experiments

Forward to the Past : Re -Engaging Uli in new Experiments

SOAS’s Brunei Gallery is pleased to present this collaborative exhibition curated by Chuu Krydz Ikwuemesi, of Nigerian artists drawing on and connecting with the tradition of Uli as an artform in their work.

Uli refers at once to different but related things. It is the name of the indigo dye obtained from several species of plants identified with various botanical names and used for drawing on the human body. Apart from describing the dye, the word, uli, also stands for the drawing made on the body or wall with the dye or pigment; and it is also the name of the art tradition in which the indigo dye or earth pigments were used. The word Uli equally functioned as an aesthetic determinant among the Igbo, referring to various nuances of beauty, intricacy and manifestation of design skill. Beyond its cosmetic and clinical possibilities, Uli also served as dress or clothing among some Igbo women folk in pre-contact times. Derived originally from the body painting technique, Uli wall painting is bolder and more vigorous.”

Chuu Krydz Ikwuemesi
CHIKE Azuonye
2022, Acrylic on Canvas
GERALD Chukwuma
2021, Mixed Media on Wood
GERALD Chukwuma
2021 Mixed Media on Wood

Though there isn’t much promotion of this event we’d encourage as many of you to go down to the gallery and experience it in person.
This is a very well curated display with multilayered, multidisciplinary mediums used to relay a post modernist example of traditional igbo art and beautification practices with a futuristic but also very present vision.
Artists included: Eziafo Okaro; Roseline Chukwu; Lucy Iwegbu, Chinyere Odinukwe; Chijioke Onuora; George Odoh; Chuu Krydz Ikwuemesi; Rita Okafor; Nneka Odoh; Kenechukwu Udeaja; Chukwuemeka Akachukwu; Petrolina Ikwuemesi; Rita Doris Ubah; Iyke Okenyi and Chike Azuonye.

RITA Doris Ubah
2021, Fabric, Synthetic Yarns, Synthetic Sequences, Aluminium, Synthetic Fibres.
Iyke Okenyi
2021, WOOD
2020, Photo Montage on Aluminium Plate
AKAEZE : The Star Man’s Story
GERALD Chukwuma
2020 Mixed Media on Wood

Forward to the Past – Re-engaging Uli in New Experiments
SOAS – Brunei Gallery
Curated by Chuu Krydz Ikwuemesi
Open until Dec 10 2022


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Prioritising Time for Language Arts & Cultural Heritage.

Founded in 2011 by Dr Vince Amaechi / Maazi Ugochukwu Onye na Nkuzi Igbo.