Obinna Okerekeocha - Digital and Beyond.

August 3, 2020
Obinna Okerekeocha - Digital and Beyond.

Obinna Okerekeocha is an avid storyteller, filmmaker, digital designer, video artist, sound designer, composer and musician.


He is a trained professional artist from the famed Nsukka School, University of Nigeria, specializing in painting. He kicked off his career in advertising as an art director where he worked in 2 top advertising agencies before foraying into TV broadcasting as a broadcast designer. At the moment, he is the creative director of REDTV, a foremost online TV platform powered by UBA (United Bank for Africa). 


He has developed a modern style of creating engaging visual narratives using the powerful medium of Video and Audio. Obinna is constantly seeking ways to marry the astounding virtues of technology with multi-dimensionality of Art.


You are a creative director, artist, video artist, designer, musician, film maker and ultra creative. What do you love best about what you do?

The best part of all this is the opportunity to create something new each day. One day its art or design, another day its music. Im just thrilled at the ability to create magic. Thankful.


Obinna Okerekeocha moderating a panel on "Opportunities of VR & AR in Africa"


Some would describe your art form as unconventional. How would you describe the reception to your art locally vs internationally?

Video Art is actually not entirely a new art form. Its actually been around since the 60s. Video art emerged during the late 1960s as new consumer video technology such as video tape recorders became available outside corporate broadcasting. The 1960s was a really interesting time in the world. Civil wars in Africa, the civil rights movement in the US and an explosion in the Arts all across the world with the proliferation of Modern & Contemporary Art especially Pop Art and also architecture. Today, technology has indeed miniaturised screens providing a platform to showcase creative content.


The world over, video art has taken prominence around video installation. Video art has become an immersive experience, with scintillating and stunning visual forms, it captures the imagination. A lot of digital and multi-media artists are beginning to embrace this medium. Its now widely used for expressing ideas that are exhibited and also for large scale outdoor entertainment and experiential projections.


What are the opportunities youve been exposed to locally and internationally with your art? What are the opportunities you foresee for yourself and for creatives like you?

In 2016, I put in a video art entry for an Art meets Tech contest organised by the Rele Gallery. I was third, with the entry garnering a lot of attention. In 2018, still with Rele Gallery, I had a group exhibition with 2 other experimental artists. My body of work was titled Vignettes of a new reality. It was actually my first major exhibition. In that show, I showcased video and sound pieces on LED and tablet screens. It was indeed a spectacle. I also showcased a 360 video that was viewed with VR headsets. It was a walk around the Lagos Island Market. Earlier in the year, my work was selected amongst other artists video work in a Video Art exhibition at the Hong Gah museum in Taiwan. The show is entitled The Ocean. The Interpreters.

The show borders on the growth, expansion and development of cities. It ends on the 7th of July. It kicked off in April. I am constantly working and putting new bodies of work together.


"The best part of all this is the opportunity to create something new each day. One day it’s art or design, another day it’s music. I’m just thrilled at the ability to create magic. Thankful."


How has the prominence of technology and social media influenced your art?

A lot. In fact I am always going out of my way to discover what new application is out there and how I can use it to bring a new dimension to my work. Social media for me is an exhibition space where I am constantly looking to engage creatively curious minds. Its also an inspiration hub for me and provides me with the unique opportunity to connect with other video and digital artists around the world.


At IMPART 2019 you moderated a panel on the opportunities of VR and AR in Africa. Tell us why more than ever, Africans should embrace VR and AR.

It's  simply because technology offers you so much more avenues to create like never before. Augmented reality has revolutionised games, interior design, interaction design and art. Every artist working in any medium should indeed embrace it because that avenue provides an opportunity to showcase your work like never before to a much wider audience. An good example is Danish-Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson an experimental artist working with materials such as light, water, and air temperature to enhance the viewers experience. He recently created an app called Acute Art. With this app, he has created AR art pieces users can use to create their own art. So you take a picture or make a video and superimpose the AR pieces into your capture. Ingenious! This is amnestying example of the kind of experimentation you can make when you are working with a technology driven medium


In exporting Africa to the world, do you find it important to always have cultural elements in your art? 

I think this is an avenue for African artists to showcase our cultural identity to the world. These elements inherently are symbols of what we stand for as Africans. These days we see a lot of artists infuse these symbols in their creations. Some have gone as far as creating wearable merchandise.


What is a project you worked on that has left a huge mark on you? Or that you would regard as your favorite or most memorable?

Like I mentioned earlier, I had a Video Art exhibition in late 2018. I loved every bit of the creation process. The pieces were striking and I got a lot of feedback from attendees at the exhibition. I think for me, one that really resonates is status update- Video Art (HD) - The work explores the chain reaction and myriad of thoughts that bombard you each time you want to update your status on social media. The visual elements are striking and it is indeed one of my more memorable pieces.


Would you say you have an artistic outlook on life? If so, whats your favorite mantra?

Yes! I can say with a certainty that I have an artistic outlook to life. Life is like a canvas, you alone have the opportunity to create a stunning image. My mantra is CREATE.  Just find an excuse to create something new everyday. Its invigorating!


What do you want to be remembered for as your legacy?

I want to remembered for my work. I want to be remembered for the innovation and boldness to create something entirely different from the status quo, adding my own unique intellectual and artistic contributions to already existing great body of work in the art universe.


Tell us about your lock down experience?

The world was put on pause when the lockdown was declared world wide. I am somebody who is usually quick to embrace change. I quickly pivoted to adjust to the new normal. Working from home meant adjusting my space at home to accommodate work I would have usually done in the office. I started a vlog called Covid Candidswhere I talked about what was going on in the world and also what people could be engaging in while at home, like what shows to watch etc. I also made some new music.  I was afforded time in my studio at home to make new sounds, adding to my growing repertoire of new music. I also involved myself in a lot of personal development projects.



I am exploring new digital creation techniques around animating my digital drawings. The lockdown has afforded me more time to dig deep creatively and explore new approaches for execution.


Have you taken up new hobbies?

I would say Vlogging. Its something I have taken to. It provides me an avenue to share my thoughts in a creative and engaging manner.

Have you visited any virtual exhibitions recently? Please share.

I was visited the #SculptingTheCity exhibition put together by The Rele gallery featuring Adewale Alimi. There were a couple of other ones I accessed using the Google Arts & Culture app. Every artist and art minded person should have this app. You will get all the relevant art news in the world with so many things see and appreciate.


IMPART, an intersection of the most diverse art and innovative technology in Africa highlights the growth of the African creative sector and places it in the global discourse. IMPART, an intersection of the most diverse art and innovative technology in Africa highlights the growth of the African creative sector and places it in the global discourse.In a bid to democratize and raise the value of African art, IMPART connects emerging and established artists directly with buyers and collectors from different parts of the globe. IMPART is an initiative of Lasmara Ltd.

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