New Beginning I

Zemba Luzamba

Medium:

Oil on Canvas, 2019

Dimensions:

76cm x 61cm

More Artwork by Zemba Luzamba

Zemba Luzamba was born in Lubumbashi in 1973. After studying art at school, he enrolled for further studies at Evelyn Hone College of applied art and commerce in Lusaka, Zambia. Deciding not to return to the uncertain political environment of the DRC, the twenty-seven-year-old artist headed to South Africa, where he has lived since 2000. Zemba has become a chronicler of his experiences as a migrant African in a country with an ambivalent and often violent relationship with its continent.

Luzamba interrogates and satirises social and political power structures in Africa. A contemporary realist, Luzamba’s paintings hover on the border of satire, at once appearing to mimic the colonial lifestyle of the postcolonial elites while simultaneously bringing it into question. Is this pure observation, aspiration or critique? While he is evidently familiar with his subjects, their lack of specificity introduces a degree of otherness to his images. With characteristic understatement, Zemba is a contemporary realist providing life like accounts of ordinary subjects whilst stopping short at overt commentary. At times, he hovers on the borders of satire, leaving the viewer wondering what to make of his shadows. These appear as innocent formal devices to suggest pictorial depth or provocative illusion to mimic the colonial lifestyles of the postcolonial elites. Similarly, there is the sartorial choices of his subjects who are almost always dressed in formal Western attire. Is this pure observation, aspiration or critique?

Zemba Luzamba has exhibited widely in South Africa as well as in Rome, New York, London, Harare and Lusaka.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2017

Deja Vu at the 5th Picha Biennale de Lubumbashi, DR Congo

‘In The South – Paintings from 2014-2017’, Stellenbosch University Museum, Stellenbosch, South Africa

2016

‘Genesis’, EBONY/CURATED, Franschhoek, South Africa

2015

‘It is What It Is’, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa

2012-2013

LA SAPE, AVA Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2004

Untitled, AVA Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2005

Hope for Refugees, Rome, Italy

Group Exhibitions

2018

‘The Summer Exhibition’, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa

2016

‘Beyond Binaries, Durban Art Gallery, Durban, South Africa

2017

“From the Horses Mouth’, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa

2015

‘That Art Fair’, Cape Town, South Africa

“In Print/In Focus’, Michealis Galleries, Cape Town, South Africa

2014

‘Inner Nature’, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa

‘Emergence’, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa

2013

Perspectives and Dramascapes with Wycliffe Mundopa, EBONY/CURATED, Cape Town, South Africa

2013

1:54 Contemporary African Art, Frieze Art Fair, London

First Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town, South Africa

2011

Art for Africa, Sotheby’s New York, New York City, USA

2008

Hifa, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe

2007

‘Africa South’, AVA, Cape Town, South Africa

Blank Project, Cape Town, South Africa

Sanlam Gallery, Baxter Theatre, Cape Town, South Africa

2006

Xcape Art Circuit, Voyage: Scalabrini, Cape Town, South Africa

Picasso and Africa, Alliance Francaise, Cape Town, South Africa

2005

Piacenza, Italy

Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2003

Xenophobia, Alliance Francaise, Cape Town, South Africa

1996

P.E.L.Group of Artists, Lusaka, Zambia

1995

Visual Art Council, Lusaka, Zambia

Collections

Nandos, London UK

Nandos, South Africa

Scalabrini House, Bassano Del Grappa, Italy

Cultures Inc, California

Museum of Modern Art, Equatorial Guinea

Private Collections in South Africa, Italy and America

Publications

2015

The Guardian Newspaper (25/03), Financial Times, London

Art Africa, ‘IT IS WHAT IT IS’, Anna Stielau, South Africa

Cape Times ‘Inexpressive Disutopia’, Danny Shorkend, South Africa

2010

Mario Pissarra, ‘Zemba Luzamba; Migrant Perspectives’, Critical Interventions: Journal of African Art History and Visual Culture, NYC, USA.

2005

South African Art Diary, South Africa

Documentaries

2018

‘Zemba Luzamba’, CNN African Voices

2015

‘Zemba Luzamba’, Directed by Beki Boneni, Uvimba Media