Haris Nukem, one of London’s most exciting and provocative photographers of recent years, announces his new photography exhibition – FAITH at London’s Noho Studios from April 15 – 25th.
A passionate study of the human spirit in the 21st century, Nukem’s FAITH questions the guiding ideologies that surround millennial culture and Gen Z. His portraiture explores social media connectivity, the curated self, the fragility of public services, hedonism, trolls and tribalism. Nukem creates a vivid world that mirrors the layers of our reality by emphasising the overpowering noise of humanity’s search for meaning.
The North London based artist, credits his childhood having entered the UK as an asylum seeker for his unique perspective. Obsessed with branding and the will of the individual, Nukem began his career in advertising before turning his hand to visual art. Now 29, he has finalised a fresh, new body of work; FAITH. Collaborating with a collection of exciting and inspiring creatives featuring emerging models, artists, dancers and musicians portraying the artists’ new observations and interpretations.
The result; a provocative body of work, showcasing colourful narratives that embed themselves in the unsettling yet exciting social shifts in today’s world. Characterised by their opulence in colour and bright, incandescent hues, these new works explore humanity’s unrelenting desire to believe.
Curator Penelope Sonder said:
“Haris Nukem presents an in-depth understanding of a new generation and is an exceptional storyteller. He concerns himself with today’s societal struggles and offers philosophical meditations in a contemporary context featuring graffiti anecdotes, bunny ears and tattooed bodies. This contrast makes him an important observer of the dawn of a new era.”
FAITH by Haris Nukem – April 15 – 25 at Noho Studios (46 Great Titchfield Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 7QA)
1. How did you get started shooting photography, what other art forms do you love to do?
I started a clothing brand called Play Nice. I had to find somewhere to feel a sense of purpose. When we had to shoot the clothes on people I bought a camera and got to it. That was the moment I was like “FUCK, this is the thing. This is the thing I want to be doing”.
2. How has living in London shaped you as an artist?
London is one of the greatest cities in the world. I’m in love with every single bit of it. The merging of culture, the love everyone has for each other in the creative communities and all the people building their businesses all inspires me. I couldn’t have chosen a better place to be a creator.
3. Your work is provocative and beautiful, did you always know this is where you wanted to take your story telling or has your style and aesthetic developed over time?
I didn’t always I know. I’ve never really known much. I went with the flow as a photographer for as long as I could until last year when I decided it’s time to tell a story. My show Faith is all about telling the story of our belief and where we put that today in a more and more secular world.
4. Your work composition is strong, what draws you into those strong black and contrast color?
There’s so much detail in that area. I was always fascinated with the grit and character and that texture has always come from the shadows. When I began photography, for sure I saw a lacking in that spectrum. I wanted to find a way to bring that out.
5. What do you want someone seeing your work for the first time to take away from it? What kind of emotion are you trying to evoke from your spectators?
Optimism maybe. Or a little bit of themselves. With this new body of work it’s all about reflection. “How do I fit into this narrative”. It’s purpose is to promote a discussion and a new balance.
6. What do you think about social media and it’s over saturation in society and what it’s doing to younger people vs. the ability for younger and lesser known artists to get known and get their work out there?
I’m a product of it. So stoked to be in a place where we can build our own audience and work with people who dig our stuff. I’d never be here if I could use my own drive to get me where I wanted to me. It’s the folks on social media I have to thank for that.
7. Your new series FAITH is breathtaking, where did the idea for this exhibition come from and how did it come about?
Man this whole populist movement on the polars of politics, society and discussion. It’s a strange time and I see all of this as human beings just trying to place their belief somewhere. The world is becoming more tribal and in some ways for the good and other was, the fringe as stated above, for the worse. I wanted to look at some of the nooks and crannies of this stuff and tell some stories of our evolving belief system.
8. What are you working on next?
GOD knows. I’m keen to help my homies get to where they’re going. I want to concentrate on that for a while for sure.
9. What is your spirit animal?
Turtle. Chilled. Love em.
10. What’s your hidden talent, something a lot of people don’t know about you?
I fight crime in the evenings, masked and dressed as a turtle. It’s a secret identity, I’d appreciate your discretion. NOT TO BE CONFUSED FOR THOSE NINJA TURTLES. I’m a lone wolf.