Kemang Wa Lehulere
Kemang Wa Lehulere was born in Cape Town, South Africa. He has a BA Fine Arts degree from the University of the Witwatersrand (2011). Wa Lehulere’s artistic practice reacts to the historical legacy of South Africa, using performative acts with objects and materials familiar to South African society, to carve, dig, break, erase or reconstitute. Objects like wooden school desks, ceramic sculptures of Alsatian dogs and blackboards are incorporated into various installations and used as symbols of both an educational system within the apartheid regime and its performance within a contemporary democratic society. The objects transmute between a familiar object from childhood into more pointed questions or concerns that challenge our assumptions about the histories and social structures that shape the world around us. Solo exhibitions include Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (2016); Gasworks, London (2015); Lombard Freid Projects, New York (2013); the Goethe-Institut, Johannesburg (2011), and the Association of Visual Arts in Cape Town (2009). Notable group exhibitions include the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014); Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2014); The Ungovernables, the second triennial exhibition of the New Museum in New York (2012); the 11th Lyon Biennale at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Lyon, France (2011) and at the Kunsthalle Bern and Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzerland (2010). Wa Lehulere was a co-founder of the Gugulective (2006), an artist-led collective based in Cape Town, and is a founding member of the Center for Historical Reenactments in Johannesburg. He was the winner of the inaugural Spier Contemporary Award in 2007, the MTN New Contemporaries Award in 2010, and the Tollman Award for the Visual Arts in 2012; he was one of two young artists awarded the 15th Baloise Art Prize at Art Basel in 2013, won the first International Tiberius Art Award Dresden in 2014 and was the Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Arts in 2015. Wa Lehulere was also the recipient of an Ampersand Foundation residency in New York in 2012.