Wilfred Ukpong

Wilfred Ukpong

Wilfred UKPONG (Ph.D.) is a French Nigerian interdisciplinary artist and researcher whose distinctive socially engaged practice utilizes several interwoven mediums, including photography, film, sculpture, performance, architecture, and creative workshops, to tackle pertinent social issues with community participation and intervention.

Since 2020, Ukpong’s art films and photographic installations have been exhibited at Alliance Française/Mike Adenuga Centre (Nigeria), FotoFest, Houston (USA), Institut Français du Nigeria Abuja (Nigeria), MARKK Museum Hamburg (Germany), Pipe Factory Glasgow (UK), Royal Society of Arts, London (UK), Welt Museum Vienna (Austria) amongst others. His long-term project Blazing Century 1 received a special grant from the Prince Claus Fund Amsterdam (2010); his film Future World (2017) won the Golden City Gates Excellence Award at ITB Berlin (2018) and was presented at the Nigerian Senate to encourage environmental change in the Niger Delta. His first UK solo exhibition of art films and photographic series - BC1: NIGER-DELTA/FUTURE-COSMOS, curated by Dr Mark Sealy (OBE), opens at Autograph-ABP London from 16th Feb till 1st Jun 2024.

Ukpong received his BA/MA in Fine Arts from Ecole Supérieure d'Art Lorient, France, and his PhD from Oxford Brookes University (UK). He is the founder and director of Blazing Century Studios (Nigeria, France & USA). Ukpong lives and works between Oxford (UK), Clermont-Ferrand (France), and Eket (Nigeria).

...distinctive socially engaged practice utilizes several interwoven mediums

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Are my Dreams Too Bold for the Carbon Skin I Bear #1



Pigment print on museum pro matte canvas, bordered with black acrylic paint on plated repurposed fabric by community participants and covered on artist’s frame made with repurposed oil industrial polystyrene and light steel pipe


59 x 59 in.



BC1-ND-FC: Are my Dreams Too Bold for the Carbon Skin I Bear #1 is one part of the photographic series BC1: NIGER-DELTA/FUTURE-COSMOS, itself just one element in Wilfred Upkong's Afrofuturist epic Blazing Century 1, a multi-part film and video project in which the artist interweaves indigenous ceremonies and rituals with invented cosmologies and fictional narratives to create an allegory of the contemporary social and environmental challenges facing the Niger Delta.

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Selected Solo Exhibitions

2024 Africa Rising: 21st-Century African Photography, group exhibition at Fitchburg Art Museum, Massachusetts

2024 BC1:NIGER-DELTA/FUTURE-COSMOS, solo exhibition at Autograph-ABP London

2023 Science Fiction(s) - If there was a tomorrow, group exhibition at the Welt Museum Wien (World Museum


2023 Wasser Botschaften/Water Massages, group exhibition at the Museum am Rothenbaum–World Cultures and

Arts (MARKK)

2022 African Cosmologies: Redux, group exhibition at FotoFest Biennial, African Cosmologies: Photography, Time,

and the Other

2022 Blazing Century 1: Solo Exhibition, Photographic and Film Workshop, Film Screening & Sculpture Unveiling by

Wilfred Ukpong at the Institut français du Nigeria Abuja

2022 FUTURE-WORLD-EXV by Wilfred Ukpong at Public Ecology Film Festival, Film Screening and Symposium at

the Association for Visual Arts in Cape Town

2021 Composing A Cause: A Meditative Sonic Visual Experience curated Film Screening, Performance and

Conversation by Wilfred Ukpong, Professor Ray Lee and Hugo Tromp at Autograph-ABP London

2021 The Colour of the Climate Crisis by Do The Green Thing, group exhibition at the Pipe Factory in Glasgow and

New York, and as fly posters around Glasgow COP26 Climate Change Conference

2021 FUTURE-WORLD-EXV by Wilfred Ukpong at the Royal Society of Art London, Film Screening and


2021 FUTURE-WORLD-EXV: PRELUDE 2, film Screening, and Conversation at the ESSAY FILM FESTIVAL


2021 BC-1: Niger-Delta/Future-Cosmos, Solo Exhibition by Wilfred Ukpong at the Alliance Francaise de Lagos/Mike

Adenuga Centre Lagos

2020 African Cosmologies: Photography, Time, and the Other, Group Exhibition at the FotoFest Biennial 2020

Exhibition Houston

2020 Group Exhibition at the FotoFest Biennial 2020 Houston

2019 Artist-in-Residence at Arthouse Foundation Lagos

2019 Diana Ejaita and Wilfred Ukpong Exhibition at Omenka Gallery Lagos

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