During Lagos' vibrant art, design, photography, and fashion season in November, Emeka Udemba's exhibition, A Question of Being, marked the opening of the new Temple Muse flagship store.
A Question of Being presents "the vibrancy of hybrid cultures" referencing race, history, memory, gender, time, and beauty. Udemba experiments with rich colors, transparencies, words, printed paper, and textures to create multi-layered portraits which take a critical look at the emergence of vibrant multi-cultural communities and a how hybrid identity affects our sense of belonging. Udemba, an artist of Nigerian descent, has spent over 25 years working as a studio artist in Germany. Through his paintings and installation, he touches on the need for each of us to be confident in our race, ethnic roots and culture, and "not to let ourselves be defined by the strangers' gaze, but to celebrate the diverse colors of all humanity."
Often people of color like me who live outside of our native countries are always confronted with questions of legibility, illegibility and stereotypes. As migrants we are thrust into the position of the outsider.
My works reflect on the construction of subjectivity of the 'other' and how this is influenced by information around us. The works in this exhibition reflect my ongoing exploration with painting and installation to address issues of my own identity and a sense of place in the world.