TOMORROWS/TODAY highlights a wide spectrum of artistic practices

Returning to the seventh edition of Investec Cape Town Art Fair, which takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from 15 to 17 February 2019, TOMORROWS/TODAY is a cross-section of the most exciting, emerging and less known artists from Africa and around the world chosen by Investec Cape Town Art Fair curator Tumelo Mosaka as being thought-provoking voices.

According to Mosaka the aim of TOMORROWS/TODAY is to shine a light on emerging and under-represented artists, set to be tomorrow’s leading names. It is open to those working on and beyond the African continent and as the title implies, the ongoing theme is one of transformation, and experimentation showcasing unorthodox art forms addressing current social and political issues.

“The art scene is not short of rising stars,” says Mosaka. “The point is how to provide visibility.”

“For Investec Cape Town Art Fair visitors – especially those who intend to invest in the future – it is important that the art fair sets the bar while ushering in a new crop of artists. For this reason, the fair has established this major platform.”

“In essence, the thought-provoking TOMORROWS/TODAY section reiterates the Fair’s support of artists who have developed their talents outside the structures of the art market,” says Mosaka.

Investec Cape Town Art Fair is pleased to introduce the following ten artists, and their galleries, due to exhibit on TOMORROWS/TODAY:

Zyma Amien, South Africa | Art First, London

Zyma Amien was born in Landsdowne, Cape Town and continues to live and work in the city. Her practice covers printmaking, drawing, installation and digital video, and is often concerned with socio-political issues of the garment and textile industries, which, until recently, have been central to the industrial landscape of the city. Informed by her heritage, both mom and grandmother worked in this industry for several decades. Amien completed her Masters (Cum Laude) at UCT after graduating from UNISA with BFA. She exhibited on the Sasol New Signatures and won a PPC- RE-imagine Concrete prize. Her work is included in the South Africa clothing and textile workers Union collection. She is a lecturer for UNISA as well as at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at UCT.

Medina Dugger, US/Nigeria | Art Twenty One, Lagos

Medina Dugger is a photographer from California, based in Lagos, Nigeria since 2011. She studied at Spéos Photographic Institute in Paris, France. For four years she was project coordinator/co-curator for the African Artists’ Foundation and LagosPhoto Festival. Thereafter she turned her full attention to photography. Through collage and photography, her work seeks to bypass the singular storylines common to Nigeria and Africa, instead focusing on themes of identity, tradition, modernity, gender, and style. Her work challenges Western preconceptions on race and colour.

John-Michael Metelerkamp, South Africa | Berman Contemporary, Johannesburg

John-Michael Metelerkamp, born in 1982, is based in Knysna. His autobiographical practice deals with trauma, anxiety, and awkwardness. The artist has said that his paintings serve as an honest expression of humanity’s shared human condition of an attempt at confronting life and seeing its humour. In 2017 he exhibited on That Art Fair in Cape Town, and Turbine Art Fair with his gallery the Berman Contemporary.

Troy Makaza, Zimbabwe | First Floor Gallery, Harare

Troy Makaza was born in Harare and continues to live and work in the city of his birth. Having graduated from the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in 2014, in painting and sculpture, Makaza set about developing his own unique medium, which would merge his love of colour and object making. The outcome was a blend of traditional art materials, inks and paint, and contemporary industrial silicone which can be molded, woven and even used as paint to produce diverse, vibrant and almost but not quite figurative inventions. These dramatic forms speak to a dynamic evolution of Zimbabwe, a society in flux managing political, cultural and economic turmoil, where traditional roles are no longer assured offering up new possibilities of thinking and making.

Chris Soal, South Africa | Guns & Rain, Johannesburg

Chris Soal was born in South Africa in 1994 and graduated from the University of Witwatersrand with a Bachelor’s in Fine Art (Honours) in 2017. He was recently awarded the Sculpture category and Overall Award at the PPC Imaginarium in 2018. His practice is concerned with the materiality of objects that are available en masse and utilised daily by millions of people globally, before being disposed of. His claim is that object like toothpicks and bottle tops are so common that they have become invisible to us. Soal’s has developed with his choice to use marginal materials, and he now consciously foregrounds the use of these in the artwork, with the intention of producing physical sensation. In addition to rapidly establishing himself as an emerging artist over the past year at multiple exhibitions and fairs, Chris has worked at Kentridge’s Centre for the Less Good Idea, as well as writing for the online Bubblegum Club.

Azael Langa, South Africa | Julie Miller Investment Art Institute, Johannesburg

Azael Langa was born in Boksburg and raised in Daveyton, and now resides in Pretoria. His primary conceptual inspiration is close to home as he often images stories about his community and emphasizes the fundamental importance these stories have on the formation of his identity. His artwork explores pertinent issues of exclusion and exploitation through the investigation of the dualism which exists between identity and community. The medium, in which he uses a combination of candle smoke and burnt plastic, which is a symbolic process. He uses burnt plastic to signify the toxicity of an economy and candle smoke “as a gesture of illuminating and purifying their situation”. Langa’s artworks have been exhibited on recent shows that include the SA Art Collective at the New York Art Expo & the ‘Dual’ exhibition at Trent Art Gallery in Pretoria.

Armand Boua, Ivory Coast | LKB/Gallery, Hamburg

Armand Boua was born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where he lives and works presently. His works are based on the lives of street children who testify to the violence and political struggles in West Africa. His chosen place of work is the economic capital at the crossroads of urbanisation and industrialization and he experiences the Ivorian landscape with heightened sensitivity. His observations of children are drawn largely from street scenes where urban migrations create ethnic, linguistic, cultural and social entanglements that have come to enrich and problematize the region in equal measure. Child abduction in Ivory Coast remains a chillingly real issue with myths of human sacrifices and other rituals fuelling the market for organs of the young. Added to this are the horrors of sex trafficking, illegal adoption rings and plantation labour. Boua’s subjects could be victims of such exploitation, or symbols of hope and innocence. Having studied in the National School of Fine Arts and the Technical Centre for Applied Arts both in Abidjan, he immersed himself deeply in the artistic world. His work has been exhibited in Pangaea II: New Art From Africa and Latin America at Saatchi Gallery (London, UK)

Ihosvanny, Angola | MOVART, Luanda

Angel Ihosvanny Cisneros was born in 1975 Angola’s Moxico province. He is a self-taught artist and member of the so-called Nationalist Movement. He is part of the new generation of Angolan artists born after the independence. Ihosvanny started his first artistic experiences in Cuba, where he lived a few years. It was also there that he produced his first exhibition. He currently divides his time and work between Barcelona and Luanda. Ihosvanny has had several exhibitions (solo and collective) presented in Angola, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Italy, Uganda, USA and France. He is integrated into various institutional and private collections, among them: Dokolo Foundation Sindika; Ellipse Foundation as well as the PMLJ Foundation.

Aimé Mpane Democratic Republic of Congo | NOMAD Gallery, Brussels

Aime Mpane from Kinshasa divides his time between Congo and Brussels. His work is charged with history and emotions, and touches us on different levels. Mpane enters the psyche and emotional locus of the people and, more broadly, it enables the artist to narrate the history of an entire place. The artist plays with the tactility of chosen materials, following their nature and highlighting an expressive potential. The resulting portraits are acute psychological investigations. The spontaneity of the brushstrokes recall the lively style of hand-painted signage associated with stereotyped imagery of African villages. The wood panels are often burnt, broken or perforated, and the color adjusts accordingly.

Michael Cook, Australia | THIS IS NO FANTASY, Melbourne

Michael Cook is a Brisbane-based photomedia artist of Bidjara heritage. Cook’s photographs restage colonial-focused histories and re-image the contemporary reality of indigenous populations. Touching on the discriminatory nature of society, his images muddle racial and social roles ‘painting’ a picture of a societal structure reversed. Cook invites viewers to speculate Indigenous cultures living at the forefront, even a majority, rather than manipulated to live within the confines of a white man’s world. Cook’s images challenge our ingrained belief systems yet do not offer judgment – they are observational, asking questions without proffering neat prescriptive conclusions.

Image Credit: Medina Dugger, Aqua Suku from the series CHROMA: an Ode to J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere’ (2017) Fiber Pigment Print on Dibond
Image courtesy of the artist and Art Twenty One

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