I am a photographer from Nigeria who experiments with both colour and black and white in my creative process and storytelling. While I work in different genres of photography like fashion, portraiture, landscape, nude, my focus is on exploring the performative possibilities of daily life through critical views of social, political and cultural issues from the contemporary Nigerian context.
I am interested in the use of archival materials, such as newspaper prints and posters, to engage with memory and history. I am researching the role of beliefs and mythology from a West African perspective by investigating rituals, traditions and routines.
In my project titled “Boju-Boju”, a popular Yoruba traditional game played by children which is an indigenous adaptation of the game of Hide and Seek, I was exploring the concepts of identity, perception, duality and the multi-faceted layers of the human reality using a number of select West African masks and nude figures to create a visual narrative in addressing a wide spectrum of salient social phenomena and maladies which seem to have attained the status of normalcy in our everyday lives and society at large.
In my current project, “Generation X”, I am working with sound, found objects and photographs in creating series of installations which seek to address the electricity and economic problems in Nigeria.
In his journey to creative freedom, Ayo Akinwande found expression in the art of photography and has since sought to expound his expressive and thematic scope. His work focuses on the performative possibilities of everyday life; drawing his props from the same palette. He strives to recreate surreal experiences which he believes through keen observation can be traced in memory and reality. He addresses social issues with the use of satire, while holding a light to interpersonal relationships.
In 2015, he had two solo exhibitions with titles; “Women of Africa” in Athens, Greece and “Boju Boju” in Lagos Nigeria. Ayo was part of the “What’s Inside Her Never Dies” group exhibition at the Yeelen gallery in Miami, USA. The same show was also featured at the 2015 Art Basel Miami.
He was a participant at the Centre for Contemporary Arts Lagos 2016 ASIKO Art Residency in Addis-Ababa and he is one of the 15 photographers listed by the Nlele Institute’s talent barometer for the year 2016.
Ayo Akinwande was born in Lagos and he is a graduate of the Covenant University School of Architecture, Nigeria. He lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria.