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.
Otchere’s first meeting with the group happened while they were on tour in London more than 20 years ago. In the Kickstarter video to promote the exhibition, Otchere speaks about his encounter in detail.
“I heard the Wu-Tang were around. I went down to RCA Records in Putney at the time,” he said. “As I’m walking in, I see the Method Man walking out and I’m like, 'Oh shit, it’s Meth'. More than anything, he had a pair of Air Jordan IIIs, which was crazy rare[...] in the mid-1990s.”
Otchere spoke to Method Man about the trainers and took his portrait. Shortly after, all the Wu-Tang’s MCs started coming out of the record store.
“I started taking shot after shot after shot,” said Otchere. “They were so happy to see someone who gave a damn.”
The exhibition will be held over 10 hours. Aside from Otchere’s photography, it will also include a video installation by Daniel Oduntan, a production workshop with Tony Nwachukwu, a panel talk with Alexander Nut and Dobie, a record stall, and DJ sets and live shows from VCF and DJ Rumz.
Formed in New York in 1992, the Wu-Tang Clan was originally made up of Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Ol’Dirty Bastard, U-God, Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck, U-God, GZA and RZA. The group is known for bringing a harder sound and grungier aesthetic into mainstream hip hop, which in the early 1990s had often been about being "fresh" and "fly".
Eddie Otchere studied at the London College of Printing (now London College of Communications) and is an advocate of analogue photography. Referring to himself as the “B-Boy Alchemist”, he is a renowned photographer of hip hop and drum’n’bass artists.