Karl Ohiri (pronounced Oh-hir-ri) is a London-born British-Nigerian artist living and working in Helsinki since 2023. His conceptually driven practice focuses on the Human condition and the lived experience by probing the attitudes and culture of contemporary society. The use of personal narratives, observations and daily encounters often form the starting point for his work, exploring recurring themes related to identity and representation, the black experience and the boundaries of what can be considered 'art' through the use of appropriated and found material.
His diverse practice captures a wide range of human emotions from the light-hearted and humorous to the sorrowful and serious, in an approach that seeks to create art from the everyday, incorporating the use of photography, text, video and everyday objects. Many of his works start as proposals, where the proposal is used as a tool to take creative initiative in collaborating with institutions, fellow artists and members of the general public to facilitate dialogues on art, culture and heritage in thought-provoking ways.
Ohiri's works have been exhibited around the world in venues that include: MoMA Museum of Modern Art, The Courtauld Gallery, Tate Britain, Reattu Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Southbank Centre, Les Recontres d' Arles and the Lagos Biennial among others with works held in several prominent international collections.
Alongside his immediate practice he is the initiator and co-guardian of the Lagos Studio Archives. The project aims to collect, preserve and present the archives of a generation of Lagos based photographers that discarded their film negatives due to a shift from analogue to digital photography. The project is generously funded by the Kone Foundation for the years 2024 and 2025.