Araism Movement was established and formally launched on Saturday July 22, 2006 with an exhibition of paintings in Araism by the proponent of the technique, Mufu Onifade and five of his disciples: Olaniyi Omojuwa, Tope Oguntuase, Dotun Popoola, Abiola Mautin-Akande and Jonathan Ikpoza. This epoch-making event was held at Bruce Onobrakpeya’s Harmattan Workshop Gallery , Victoria Island, Lagos , Nigeria . The event was able to re-launch the phenonmenon of ARA (Aesthetically Rich Art) and ara (wonder) to the sensibilities of artists, arts writers, gallery owners, the arts community and the general public. In recent times, every watcher of unfolding events in Nigerian Contemporary cannot overlook or undervalue the emrgence and prominence of Araism technique – nay the relatively young Movement. Araism is a creative force of reckoning while the Movement serves as a medium of projection of the technique.
In 1989, Araism began as a technique developed by Mufu Onifade, but having trained many students from 1990 to date, each student was able to develop his own style, using the technique as a technical base. With the distinguishing element of one style from another, it also became imperative to create a platform on which these various styles of Araism could be projected; and this paved the way for the establishment of Araism Movement.
Araism as a technique entails quite a bunch of cumbersome technicalities deserving of intense experimentation. It was launched in 1998 with a solo exhibition by Mufu Onifade, its proponent but the Movement was born in 2006 with an official grouping of interested students who are today known as disciples – all of them sharing a common fraternity with their teacher.
With the emergence of the Movement, we can now reflect on both the technique of, and the styles in, Araism. This is made possible by an array of styles evolved by the proponent of Araism, Mufu Onifade and his outstanding disciples.
Araism restates its relevant position on contemporary Nigerian Art with its annual exhibitions meant to discover and project to the world, new creativity and disciplined disciples.