Africa First x Gordon Gallery
Opening reception: Thursday, October27, 2022, at 19:00 PM
Gallery Opening Hours: Wednesday-Thursday 11:00-17:00
Simphiwe Mbunyuza was born in1989 in Butterworth, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Mbunyuza has been the subjectof numerous exhibitions around the world, including recent presentations withMarianne Boesky in Aspen, Colorado, USA,and Gallery 1957 in London and Accra, Ghana, among others. He is the recipientof awards and residencies including the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in 2021; theRed Clay Faction Award and Oscar Jacobson Award from The University of Oklahomain 2019; a residency with A.I.R Vallauris, France, in 2017 and has been invitedto participate on a 2-years residency at world-renowned Archie Bray Foundation in Montana, USA.
His masterful practice of richlytextured, often large-scale, ceramic sculpturesexplores the relationships and interactions between the present and the past,paying tribute to traditions and to the spirits of ancestors, particularlythose of the Xhosa people. He draws from both present and historical influencesas a method of sharing his heritage through a unique, contemporary lens.
The installation Emasimini (fromZulu: in the fields) entails and details the Xhosaday-to-day agricultural and cultural activities in Eastern Cape. The land hasbeen our wealth, for the Xhosa tribe in particular, as we have lots of cows andfields to plow. This practice servesall the families in the villages and provides all of our basic needs. The fieldsproduce mainly corn, beans, butternuts, etc.
The Xhosa peopleuse stones to grind corn into cornmeal, which is one of the ingredients in brewingUmqombothi, a traditional African beer. This beer played and still plays a hugerole in Xhosa cultural ceremonies. Historically, women had a tremendous rolewithin the formation of this culture,performing most of the duties in the absence of their husbands, sometimes evenin their presence.