As a portrait photographer, Hakeem Adewumi seeks out the harmonies between sitters and the culture around them, capturing moments of resonance between individual experiences and shared histories. He lives and works in his hometown of Dallas, but his years spent at the University of Texas at Austin studying African & African Diaspora Studies and subsequent journey to Johannesburg, South Africa as part of a Fulbright Fellowship were both crucial to the development of his artistic perspective and overall practice. Central to Hakeem’s work is the formation and expression of identity, which is the conduit through which we see the world and the world sees us; in particular, an interest in race and sexuality, borne not only from his own experiences but also countless interactions and observations, has propelled many of his projects. However, he rejects the idea that identity provides us with an easy way to categorize experience. Instead, he emphasizes the boundlessness and complexity that at once define and defy it, specifically in the context of Blackness in the United States and across the globe.
Hakeem's work is now in the Phyllis and Ross Escalette Permanent Collection of Art at Chapman University.