J. D. 'Okhai Ojeikere

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere)
Jump to: navigation, search

Johnson Donatus Aihumekeokhai Ojeikere (1930 – 2 February 2014), known as J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere, was a Nigerian photographer who is known for his work with unique hairstyles found in Nigeria.[1]


Johnson Donatus Aihumekeokhai Ojeikere (J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere) was born in 1930 in Ovbiomu-Emai, a rural village in south-western Nigeria. He worked and lived in Ketu, Nigeria. At the age of 20 he pursued a future in photography, which was out of the ordinary for people in Nigeria, especially those in his village. Cameras were not in high demand and were of low priority as they were considered a luxury. However, 'Okhai Ojeikere was passionate about photography and in 1950 bought a modest Brownie D camera without flash, and had a friend teach him the fundamentals of photography.[2][3]

'Okhai Ojeikere started out as a darkroom assistant in 1954 at the Ministry of Information in Ibadan. After Nigeria gained its independence in 1960, Ojeikere pursued his first job as a photographer. In 1961 he became a studio photographer, under Steve Rhodes, for Television House Ibadan. From1963 until 1975 Ojeikere worked in publicity at West Africa Publicity in Lagos. During his time in publicity, specifically in the year 1967, he joined the Nigerian Arts Council. In 1968 he began one of his largest projects as he documented Nigerian hairstyles. This was a hallmark of Ojeikere's work and he had printed approximately a thousand pictures of different African women's hair.[2]

A large selection of Ojeikere's work was included in the arsenale section of the 55th Venice Biennale d'arte, "Il Palazzo Enciclopedia" curated by Massimiliano Gioni in 2013.[4]

J. D. 'Okhai Ojeikere died on 2 February 2014, at the age of 83. He is the subject of a documentary film by Tam Fiofori entitled J. D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Master Photographer.[5][6]

Solo exhibitions[edit]

Some of his solo exhibitions are listed below:[7]

Group exhibitions[edit]

Some of his group exhibitions are listed below:[16]

  • 2000: Africa: Past-Present, Fifty-One Fine Art Photography, Antwerp[17]
  • 2001: Face Off, AEROPLASTICS Contemporary, Brussels[18]
  • 2002: Collection in Context – Recent Photography Acquisitions, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, USA[19]
  • 2003: Highlights from the collection of Foundation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris: William Eggleston, Beat Streuli, Bill Viola, Vik Muniz, J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, Pierrick sorin, Bildmuseet Umea Universitett, Umea, Sweden
  • 2004: Joy of Life – two photographers from Africa: Seydou Keita, J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan[20]
  • 2004: Nous Remontons de la "Calle" Toutes les Photographies!, Galerie du Jour Agnés B., Paris, France
  • 2004: La collection d'art contemporain d'Agnès b. Je m'installe aux Abattoirs, Les Abattoirs – Frac Midi-Pyrénées, Toulouse, France[21]
  • 2005: Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection, MFAH Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX, USA[22]
  • 2006: 100% Africa, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain[23]
  • 2006: About Africa Part One: Seydou Keita, Malick Sidbé, Jean-Dominque Burton, Jurgen Schadeberg, J. D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, Fifty-One Fine Art Photography, Antwerp, Belgium.[24]
  • 2006: Some tribes, Christophe Guye Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland[25]
  • 2008: Head room, Mocca – Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, ON
  • 2009: Chance Encounters, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai[26]
  • 2009: 70s. Photography and Everyday Life, Teatro Fernan Gomez, PHotoEspaña, Madrid, Spain (catalogue ISBN 8492498773)
  • 2009: 70s. Photography and Everyday Life, Museo D’Arte Provincia di Nuoro, Nuoro, Italy (catalogue ISBN 8492498773)
  • 2009: J. D. 'Okhai Ojeikere and Malick Sidibe: Hairdos and Parties- African Typologies, L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, New York, USA
  • 2010: 70s. Photography and Everyday Life, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo, Seville, Spain (catalogue ISBN 8492498773)
  • 2010: 70s. Photography and Everyday Life, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, Netherlands (catalogue ISBN 8492498773)
  • 2010: A Midsummer Gallery Soirée, Hagedorn Foundation Gallery, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • 2010: AIPAD – The Photography Show, L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, Park Avenue Armory, New York, USA[27]
  • 2010: National Black Arts Festival, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • 2011: Becoming: Photographs from the Wedge Collection, Tate Modern, London, England
  • 2012: Africa/Africa, Abbaya St. André, Centre d'art contemporain de Meymac, Meymac, France[28]
  • 2013: Voyage Retour – Federal Government Press, Broad Street, Lagos, Lagos Island, Nigeria[29]
  • 2013: The Encyclopedic Palace curated by Massimiliano Gioni, The Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy[30]
  • 2014: Back to Front, Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, Seattle, USA[31]
  • 2014: Ici l'Afrique, Château de Penthes, Pregny-Chambésy, France[32]
  • 2015: Making Africa - A Continent of Contemporary Design, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany[33]
  • 2016: Regarding Africa: Contemporary Art and Afro-Futurism, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel[34]

Public collections[edit]




  • Ojeikere, J. D., & A. Magnin (2000). Okhai Ojeikere: Photographs. Scalo.