After Europe, North and South America, throughout Asia and Australia, International Art Studio presents art of the African continent so our desire to exhibit artists from all continents in the Gallery of the Studio has been fulfilled.
The exhibition titled “African Art in Valjevo” was inaugurated on August 4, 2012 and within it works of five contemporary painters from South Africa are presented as well as a collection of traditional African items and objects.
The exhibition presents large and medium format paintings from traditional to postmodern art, which boasts a distinctive visual expression. The following South African artists are represented in the exhibition: Andrew Dandeni Nhlangwini, Mandla Godfrey Majadibodu, Mbongeni Buthelezi, Vusi Mfupi and Yda Walt who live and create mostly in Johannesburg.
Following month the audience will enjoy seeing different art techniques these five artist practice such as: paper collage, fabric design, works created from recycled plastic as well as oil on canvas. Each artist has his recognizable handwriting and the audience as well as experts are often surprised when they see some works of the artists who are not familiar to them.
Academic painters Andrew Dandeni Nhlangwini and Mandla Godfrey Majadibodu are a part of the Studio’s Artists in Residence Program and they are our guests for a month. They use oil as a traditional painting technique. Andrew paints mass scenes from recent history with much success and he also painted a great number of murals connected with the World March for Peace and Nonviolence. Godfrey also deals in graphic design, litography and he is a member of several international art organizations.
Mbongeni Buthelezi’s artworks are a unique and improvised new medium of expression. He collects discarded plastic bags mostly from soft drinks and he recycles them into amazing works of art. As a contemporary artist researching on new media, Mbongeni is now able to manufacture his own plastics that come in secondary and tertiary colors in order to entice his palate. His work has been perceived as one of the most successful examples of how individuals can liberate themselves from economic and socio-political conditions.
Vusi Mfupi is an outstanding “capturer“ of the fast moving urban scenes without using a camera but rather capturing images with his mind. Mfupi then re-interprets these scenes into a dream -like but colorful and vibrant collage. Mfupi treats tiny pieces of paper as pixels; meticulously gluing them piece by piece as if he is telling a story of his urban scenes pixel by pixel. When you are finally engulfed by these tiny pieces of paper, the puzzle starts to resemble three dimensional pictures.
Yda Walt is an artist and designer who interprets the world around her with her lively and colorful prints. Her images find their way onto all her products in a playful and spontaneous way. Everything is done by hand. Her process involves drawing and producing linocut prints of her work, which are then photographically exposed onto silk screens. The silkscreen prints are hand stitched onto fabric. Collection of original African art objects contributed to overall impression of the exhibition “African Art in Valjevo”. It is a collection of fabulous magical and useful items of African people made mostly of wood, clay, bronze and fabric.
“On behalf of the people of South Africa and the Ministry of Culture want to thank you for the hospitality provided and we already enjoy our stay in Serbia. In our country there are more than 20 thousand citizens of Serbia and we hope it will be more links, and that we will deepen the relations between our countries. This is because we share a similar history and destiny of our people and we hope that in the future even more Serbs will live in South Africa.
Tonight, here we present the achievements of artists from Africa, a culture opens the doors that create many opportunities”, said Mr. Ernest Ndlovu Zwelibanzi from the South Africa Department of Arts & Culture.
The exhibition was officially opened by Mr. Dragoljub Krstic, Deputy Mayor of Valjevo. He welcomed South African officials on behalf of City of Valjevo stressing in his speech that he hoped, in time to come, the cooperation between the two countries will intensify in many aspects.
In the musical part of the program, visitors enjoyed the performance of Ivan Timotić, young graduate from the Music Academy in Sarajevo, Department of accordion under the supervision of Professor Rade Radović. Ivan has played at the opening act “DTK”, second volume in D minor by Johann Sebastian Bach and “Divertimento”, second paragraph by Kusiak.