Uchay Joel Chima (b. 1971, Enugu, Nigeria) examines environmental and social issues in Nigeria and the world. Across the globe, more frequent and intense drought, storms, heatwaves, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and warming oceans continue to wreak havoc on people’s livelihoods and communities.
Chima employs a wide range of materials including charcoal, sand, strings, wax, disused sacks and paints to create thought-provoking mixed-media works. The natural world has been a source of inspiration for Chima since childhood, based on his upbringing in Enugu, located in the South Eastern region of Nigeria, referred to as the “Coal City”.
Chima’s practice is centered around solutions and ways to design nature into the fabric of urban environments. Viewers are invited to envision a sustainable future and ecosystem with plants and other natural elements living in harmony.
Chima was one of four artists chosen through a competitive international selection process to partake in 2015/2016 Platte forum’s Artist Residency program in Denver, Colorado. He has been in residence at Vermont Studio Centre, Johnson, Vermont; Spark Box Studio in Ontario, Canada and also at the One Minute Foundation in Amsterdam, Netherlands. His works have been featured at international auction houses including Bonhams and Arthouse Contemporary Limited.