One could argue that Eddie Otchere was at the right place at the right moment… That might partially be true but if you ask me, it takes more than a lucky twist of fate to build an entire career. Fate can play in your favour but it’s mostly when shit happens that you learn to push through and fight for what you want. After he graduated from London College of Printing, Eddie never put down his camera, literally, because when people starting swopping analog with digital Eddie kept on defending the traditional silverhalide process. It’s in the darkness of his black room that he developed the portraits of the biggest names in hip hop over the past 20 years. From Biggie to Run DMC, from Snoop Dogg to Aaliyah, Eddie was able to immortalise legends in an era where the music industry was still genuine and artists authentic.
For one day only, a photography exhibition of the New York hip hop group the Wu-Tang Clan will take place in Brixton East gallery, south London.
Otchere: The Icons of Wu-Tang will include a collection of previously unexhibited photographs of the Staten Island hip hop group, taken by British photographer Eddie Otchere during the Wu-Tang’s heyday in the mid-1990s.
In Icons of Wu, Eddie Otchere presents portraits of every member of the Wu during their most prolific years; photographed over five years and never before exhibited in their entirety. However this is more than just your standard photography exhibition. Taking place at Brixton East 1871, the affair will feature a sonic video installation by Daniel Oduntan, a production workshop, a discussion panel and of course music to close the evening. Also, as promised by Otchere, “the digital files created for the prints will be destroyed on the 9th March – the day Biggie died – never to be reproduced again, making the Icons of Wu edition finite.”
One man who has proven consistently capable of snapping those slice-of-time shots has been photographer, Eddie Otchere; known for his portraits of hip-hop and r&b stars in their heyday. A one-day exhibit at London’s Brixton East 1871 gallery will find Otchere himself guiding visitors through his time with The Wu with a full spread of his stills, which will apparently be vanquished in a very Madlib-via-Kafka-esque fashion to prevent the stills from being reproduced. The Icons Of Wu-Tang exhibit will take place on March 9th for one day only. We suggest you book your flight today. You won’t want to miss this one. Peep an introduction to the exhibit in the clip below.
In 1993, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) saw the light of day. Around the same time, and hours before their first ever show in the UK, British photographer Eddie Otchere met the Wu-Tang Clan. He spent a couple of hours with them then and, fascinated, he kept coming back to take the group's photographs for almost a decade.
Icons of Wu is a one-day photo exhibition by Eddie Otchere, taking place at the Brixton East 1871 gallery, in London, March 5.
The exhibition features portraits of every Wu Tangmember. These were shot by Otchere over a nine-year period and have never before been displayed together. The prints have been “digitally reduxed” and Otchere himself will offer a guided tour of the exhibition, beginning at 2PM on the day.
In its infancy Hip Hop took host in the minds of the most minimal of the masses; the young, disenfranchised and poor urban youths. It taught them to celebrate intellect, wit, charm and, importantly, their humanity, all of which they had no consciousness of. In Hip Hop, the youth explored four components of human activity and used them to define themselves.
Eddie Otchere photographed 8 of the 9 Wu Tang members in London (1995); he eventually caught the final Pokémon, shooting RZA a few years later. With too many achievements to list – including photographing for Metalheadz, Rawkus, and capturing iconic shots of both Aaliyah and Biggie – it’s safe to say he had a few stories to share.
Eddie Otchere has been documenting hip-hop, R&B and electronic music for more than two decades with subjects including Biggie Smalls, Aaliyah, Nas, Jay Z, Mos Def and Talib Kweli.
His latest exhibition at Brixton East 1871 in association with 87s & Co presents his iconic pictures of every member of the Wu-Tang Clan during 5 years spent hanging out with the band that have never before been seen in their entirety.
One day my great grandchildren will go up into the loft and find a batch of prints that've been sitting there for 50 years. Upon closer inspection they may recognise what they see. They could also find hard drives except of course in 50 years they won't have the hundred divergent cables and plugs Apple introduces every 3 months. All you need is light to unlock the potential of film. Lastly, a photograph, a print is a gift, the space in which that gift is created is the darkroom, a powerful space where the gifts are not mass produced but crafted into being.