© J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, 1971-1975, from the collection “Hairstyles”
Ojeikere was born in 1930 in the western part of Nigeria. One of his cousins advises him to buy a camera and teaches him what he needs to know.
In 1967 he becomes an active member of the Nigeria Art Council, an organisation in charge of organising a festival of visual and living arts. This is an opportunity for Ojeikere to devote himself to Nigerian culture, to which he is deeply attached.
Ojeikere has done more than most in documenting, through, photography the myriad of cultural trends in his native Nigeria and elsewhere. His photographs provide us with an insight and the fullest possible context into understanding the many changes in style that have occurred over time. They make a cultural commentary on people’s behaviour, cultural identity and socio-dynamic.
While photographers in the 1960s focused mainly on commercial oriented photography, Ojeikere had other ideas. He always wanted to understand society and to map cultural dimensions. His choice of projects usually reflects the interests and constraints of the communities in which he experienced.
Find a book with his photographs here.
“Hairstyles” is one of many photographic projects that Ojeikere started in 1968. The photographs depict cultural and ethnographic differences. They provide us with an opportunity to look back at what was in vogue in the 1960s and to make comparisons with hair styles of today.
"Hairstyles" will be his most known collection, involving almost 1000 different hairstyles that give an image of the African woman. He finds these "sculptures for a day" on the street, at a marriage or at work. (+, +, +)
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