Sifiso Mkhabela: Reimagining the Cognitive Power of Culture

Gallery Fanon, Johannesburg, South Africa
25 Sep 2020 - 25 Oct 2020

Sifiso Makhabela, The Fortunes Teller's Lie (Detail), 2020. Mixed media, 122 x 81.5x 0.5 cm

Sifiso Makhabela, The Fortunes Teller's Lie (Detail), 2020. Mixed media, 122 x 81.5x 0.5 cm

Sifiso Mkhabela’s latest body of work is an ongoing exploration of figurative paintings, mixed media works and drawings that imitate and document the process of Ukugcatjwa – a traditional ceremony of mark-making  through incisions and initiation. The narrative lends itself as an expression of the culture shock Mkhabela experienced as a result of having to participate in the right of passage when he met his Mozambican family for  the first time.

The ceremonial process of Ukugcatjwa is normally performed by a healer or a Sangoma, who makes two incisions on the skin with a razor blade laced with a black powdered mixture of medicine. Similarly, Mkhabela‘s drawings have a texture that is similar to the scars one receives as a result of the ceremonial practice. The markings are black as an expression of the culture shock and are used as a visual metaphor for the Artist’s experience of cultural displacement. The female figures that Sifiso incorporates in the works represent the “unknown” and “faceless” female healer that performed his ceremony. Movement conveyed in the figures and their relation to one another symbolise his journey and cultural initiation as a Mozambican located within South Africa.

The Inaugural exhibition, Gallery Fanon and The Anthill will open to the public on Heritage Day, Thursday, 24 September 2020 from 10:00 – 18:00.The exhibition runs from 25 September to 25 October 2020.

Kindly RSVP your attendance, all are welcome and entrance is free.
Social distancing guidelines apply.


Gallery Fanon
281 Commissioner Street, The Anthill, Maboneng
2043, Johannesburg




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