6 Hours: A fusion of cross-cultural photography and painting

Ottograph and Bolaji Alonge – Didi Museum Lagos

6 Hours, the collaborative art exhibition by Nigerian photographer Bolaji Alonge and Dutch muralist, Ottograph, ended on Sunday 24 September at Didi Museum, Lagos.

The artists examined the contrasts and similarities of life in their home cities; Amsterdam and Lagos to deliver a thought-provoking, engaging and inspiring narrative. The two cities are separated by six-hour flight time between them.6 Hours pushed the boundaries between painting, street art and photography, delivering an immersive one of a kind experience.

Alonge, aka Eyes of a Lagos Boy and Ottograph, working together for the first time created an exhibition that served as a platform to celebrate and appreciate the rich artistic heritage of both nations, fostering a deeper understanding and connection between their respective art communities.

See catalog here

The press view was held on September 15 with members of various media outlets in attendance, Television Continental TVC, TV360, The Guardian, Business Day, This Day, New Telegraph, The Nation, Naija Times, Unilag FM, Vanguard Allure, Cable.ng and others.

The artistic duo inspired young talent while emphasizing the need for enhanced art education opportunities through collaborative work and workshops. “I believe in spreading the knowledge of how we live today, using the internet, sharing our beauty and pride with the rest of the world. One of the best ways to document history is through photography, it brings the past back to life,” Alonge stated to The Nation Newspaper.

Attendees had the chance to gain insights into the creative processes behind these artworks while forging connections with artists from both countries. 6 Hours art exhibition was a captivating display of contemporary art that showcased the immense talent and creativity of  the artists.

The opening of 6 Hours on September 16 was a gathering of art lovers from all walks of life and the appreciation for the joint efforts of the artists was absolutely satisfying. It was an attestation to the power of collaboration between two countries, and members of the diplomatic community, art lovers and tourists came together. The main sponsors, the Dutch Consulate was represented by the Consular General, Michel Deelen, and members of his staff, Danish and Swiss consulates were present. 6 Hours was successfully opened to the delight of collectors and visitors.

The project assisted by Ogooluwa Adeniran treated visitors to a mesmerizing array of paintings, photography, installations, and mixed media pieces that explored various themes and narratives. The exhibition featured works that challenged societal norms, celebrated cultural heritage, and delved into personal experiences.

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One of the event’s highlights was the opportunity to engage with the artists themselves who were eager to share their artistic process and inspirations behind each piece. This interaction added an extra layer of depth and meaning to the 27 artworks on display.

See catalog here

Meanwhile, during Alonge and Ottograph’s immersive Lagos experience, the artist’s unique murals appeared at three different locations in the city; Freedom Park Lagos Island, Bature Brewery and the Dutch Consulate. These special wall paintings already attract people to its vibrancies. The murals are dedicated to street arts and the beauty of Lagos and Amsterdam.

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Naija Times news, in its review, described 6 Hours as “reflecting on such features as the seashore, dance, music, masquerades, freedom of expression, and others. The exhibition brings together in one room the divergent tenors, hues, colors, candor, and characters of two renowned centers of seemingly hyperactive creative productions and expressions — Amsterdam and Lagos.”

The week during 6 Hours exhibition saw tourists, friends, media visit the venue to buy artworks, take pictures, meet up with the artist and rub minds and discuss the value of arts to society.

See catalog here

On Saturday 24 September the third edition of Kids’ Play was held and the kids had a great time once again. Over 60 children were in attendance and many of them were painting for the first time. Tobi Adeyanju, took the kids through water color paintings on nature and abstract art. As in the past, talents were spotted and the young ones were treated to an artistic experience. Children from the Don Bosco Boys home participated for the second year running. The Kids danced and were entertained after the session. The Kids Play was followed by the arrival of patrons and art collectors at 4pm till 7pm.

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The finissage of 6 Hours was a culmination of a journey through two cities in the narration of both artistic expressions of Eyes of a Lagos Boy and Ottograph, it birthed a deep conversation that will reverberate for some time to come.

The Nigeria-Dutch art exhibition not only celebrated artistic expression but also fostered bilateral relations between Nigeria and the Netherlands. It served as a testament to the power of art in bridging gaps between cultures and promoting mutual understanding.

The impact of 6 Hours will continue to resonate within the local art scene. The exchange of ideas, techniques and perspectives will undoubtedly inspire future collaborations between Nigerian and Dutch artists while enriching the artistic landscape for years to come.

Overall, this exhibition was a testament to the two cities vibrant arts scene and their ability to captivate audiences with their rich cultural offerings. Whether you are an avid art enthusiast or someone looking for a unique cultural experience, 6 Hours art exhibition in Lagos was the place to be.

For the third year in a row, Eyes of a Lagos Boy will be part of  The Lagos Fringe Festival to give art lovers and collectors another opportunity to view our last exhibition. This year’s Festival is themed; ‘What Future for Creatives? The African Experience.’ It will be held from Tuesday, November 21 to Sunday November 26 at Freedom Park, Lagos. 6 Hours art exhibition will be back again.

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