Nigerian multi-talented Photographer and founding member of the Nigerian photographers’ collective, Depth of Field (DoF),James Iroha Uchechukwu,recently added a very big feather to his fast rising career when he took to the podium in the newly built Prince Claus fund office in Herengracht 603 Amsterdam,Netherlands to receive his prize after he was named as one of the winners of the 2008 Prince Claus Awards in the category of ”photography and film”,with his entry Fire,Flesh and Blood.The theme of the 2008 Award is Culture and the Human body.

Prince Claus fund describes Uchechukwu as ”the leading light of a new generation of Nigerian Photographer” who has been able to ”expand the possibilities of photography,pushing local art in new directions” through ”fusing the documentation of everyday reality with the creative language of imagery..His quality images depicts bodies in context,exploring the physicality of existence in the mix of cultures and influences that is 21st century Lagos,a megacity with urgent social issues”.

Uchechukwu’s winning entry,Fire,Flesh and Blood,a group of photo images depicting open-air abattoirs in Lagos, had earlier won the Elan Prize from Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) at the Rencontres africaines de la Photographie of Bamako in 2005.The Fire,Flesh and Blood photo series is among other collections of his on exhibition at the new office of the the Prince Claus fund that will run till 1st March 2009 in Amsterdam.

James Iroha Uchechukwu has been invited to an artist in residence programme by the Thami Mnyele Foundation in Netherlands,where he will be working on a new project at the foundation’s studio.He had erlier worked at the Thami Nyale Foundation from 27 November till 7 December 2008.The Themi Mnyele Foundation seeks to promote the exchange of arts and culture between Africa and the Netherlands.