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When You Lose the Ground Under Your Feet,
Will You Stay Here With Me?
Ikeorah Chisom Chi-FADA 

Opening day: May 4th, 2023 6:00pm – 8:30pm

May 5th,  – July 8th, 2023

Osart Gallery, Corso Plebisciti 12, 20129 Milan

Osart Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of "When You Lose The Ground Under Your Feet, Will You Stay Here With Me?", the first Italian solo show of Nigerian Ikeorah Chisom Chi- FADA, marking the starting point of a new collaboration between the gallery and the 23 years-old artist. With this body of ten works, conceived as a visual journey, Chi-FADA aims at exploring the power of figurative painting as a medium of storytelling and an expression of vulnerability. The works on display build from a realism of a collection of personal experiences weaved into a fiction of rendition and narration. The title of the exhibition is a poetic invitation for support amidst the turbulence in life, with the paintings serving as a shelter and resting ground. It is a plea that acknowledges the fragility of human existence and the ephemeral nature of our foothold in the world.

Crossing his personal experience with historical, literary and local references, Ikeorah Chisom Chi- FADA's artistic journey is clearly visible in the aura of mysticism radiating from his works. He brilliantly portrays personal experiences intricately intertwined with historical allusions and literary references that cover both the subjects and settings in a dreamlike ambience. The series A Journey Through Timeless Sands (2023), for example, holds nostalgic historical references (the 'Super Blue Omo' advertisement poster in the first panel, the military uniform worn by the elder sister in the second) which recall the past terrific military rule in Nigeria's flawed political history; the work While It All Burns Down (2022) is culled from the memory of a childhood traumatic fire incident, the artist's personal history as an Igbo boy and reminiscences from the Biafra war, while exploring the role of safe spaces and intimacy in such times. A powerful self-depiction is also provided in When the Night Leads Me Astray (2023), where a lone boy (namely Chi-FADA himself) is staring across a valley of river into nothingness, seemingly inviting the viewer on a journey of self-discovery and soul-searching, to use this image as a portal to anywhere the mind can conceive as a safe haven – a mental destination – that brings lasting inner peace.

The poetic play of nature and landscapes in the compositions of the paintings are pivotal ingredients to the artist's practice. Nature supports the character's distress, embracing the subjects

as a motherly presence, and evokes alluring feelings of intimacy and relaxation, where vivid and dreamy array of colours blend together in a breath-taking display, evoking a sense of wonder and magic (as in Besides the Still Waters or in the diptych The Lonely Dance of Harmattan in the Arms of February), where nature and emotion intertwine, creating a tapestry of sensations that are at once familiar and unusual. The result is a visual symphony that speaks to the deepest corners of the human soul, inviting viewers to immerse themselves in the beauty and mystery of nature.


In Chi-FADA's paintings, subjects are always depicted crowned by a small flame, softly burning on their heads and beaming its light into the surroundings. This element, apart from being the artist's signature, serves to 'deify' his subjects, creating a space that honors their presence and place in and through culture and time. It also symbolizes strength and resilience through the hardships of life, inner beauty and grace coming from embracing one's own fate, with full faith in the future.


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