Johnson Uwadinma was born in 1982 in Kaduna and hails from Abia State in the south eastern part of Nigeria. As a child growing up in the north of Nigeria, Uwadinma was witness to the lingering tension drawn along ethnic and religious lines of a country recovering from the effects of a brutal civil war. In 1989, his family was forced to move south following series of riots that broke out in the city of Zaria, Kaduna State. These experiences would later reflect in his work as he investigates Nigeria/Africa’s historiography, memory and the ideals of cohabitation. Uwadinma showed an early interest in art while in primary school at about the age of five, he would often be called upon to make illustrations on the blackboard for classmates.
Uwadinma gained admission to study art at the University of Port Harcourt and upon graduation in 2005 as Best Graduating Student in Art, he began a full-time studio practice. In 2013, he bagged an M.A from the same institution with a research on the effects of oil exploration and exploitation in the Niger Delta and the attendant militancy that followed suit at the time. His work cuts across painting, drawing, installation and sculpture that feature tesselating hues and multiple textures characterised by an interest in truth, morality, memory, historiography, and the never-ending intrigue of human coexistence. In a 2017 project at Boys’ Quarter’s Project Space, Port Harcourt, Uwadinma questions how news as an agency is consumed and internalised and history shelved in an attempt to bury memory.