Mikael Owunna illuminates ancient folklore in Portland exhibition

Mikael Owunna’s captivating new solo exhibition is now on display at Portland’s Blue Sky Gallery, per hypebeast.com. Featuring his Infinite Essence series of photographs, “Imagine Fresh Darkness” showcases nude portraits of painted bodies under ultraviolet light, inviting viewers to rethink darkness as a “profound presence teeming with unseen energies and narratives,” as described by the gallery. 

Owunna’s work uses ultraviolet rays to illuminate the darkness, drawing from African folklore to portray the Black body’s luminous and transcendent potential. The exhibition challenges traditional perceptions of darkness, turning it into a canvas that reveals hidden stories and energies.

In addition to the photographs, the show includes an experimental dance film co-directed by Owunna and Marques Redd, titled “Obi Mbu (The Primordial House).” The film features the Igbo gods, Eke-Nnechukwu and Chukwu, dancing in a sacred chamber, symbolising the genesis of the world.

“Imagine Fresh Darkness” is open at Blue Sky Gallery, 122 NW 8th Ave,

Portland, OR 97209, until June 29, 2024.


  • Featured image: Artist & Blue Sky Gallery


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