Artist, researcher and PhD student Chiizii has used her Guest Projects Digital residency to launch an interdisciplinary online research archive and multi-sited experiential teaching tool designed to educate and encourage conversation around pre and post-colonial Igbo diets. Titled Nni Bu Ogwu (Food is Medicine), it seeks to interrogate how Igbo Nigerians have used art to exchange food information whilst simultaneously investigating how art can be used as an accessible tool for educational enrichment. The project, which will also launch a multi-sited physical manifestation during London’s Frieze Week, is the result of a pilot three-month research residency awarded through Guest Projects Digital, an evolution of Yinka Shonibare CBE’s long-standing, London-based residency programme.
Untitled 02 (2022) Collage, paper on kraft paper (left). Afele Sketch Study 03 (2022). Coloured pencil on kraft paper (right).
Underpinned by an ethos that foregrounds democratic and accessible information exchange, Nii Bu Ogwu’s continuously evolving, content-rich online platform, uses original artworks across various mediums including audio, a soundtrack, recipes and Tik Tok inspired short-form videos to disseminate information. This radical explorative approach to an open resource aims to encourage broader and more universal engagement that can connect with people across cultures, needs and socio-economic groups regardless of their previous understanding of the subject matter.
Uno Sketch Study 05 (2022). Coloured pencil on kraft paper (left). Untitled 05 (2022). Collage and paper on kraft paper (right).
Nii Bu Ogwu’s physical installation will launch during London’s Frieze week across the Africa Centre, Peckham Levels, and Somerset House as part of contemporary African art fair 1:54. Modelled on familiar traditional and modern games such as Monopoly, the participatory experience will guide visitors through the buildings using a set of prompts. Successful turns in the ‘game’ will be rewarded with insight into related research strands accessible via QR codes. An iteration of the piece will move on to several cultural venues in New York later in the year.