BLESSING NGOBENI - Ntsumi Ya Vutomi at the Standard Bank Gallery
Aug 4 – Sep 16, 2023
Blessing Ngobeni’s Ntsumi Ya Vutomi
Blessing Ngobeni’s artwork is an indispensable contribution to the discourse, narrative, and existence of black life. This exhibition, titled Ntsumi Ya Vutomi or “messenger of experience,” embodies Ngobeni’s role as a conduit and witness to the profound black experience, enveloped in all its complexities. Through his art, Ngobeni breathes life into imagery that symbolizes the multi-layered and rich black experience. The art is an educational journey, delving into historical events that continue to shape the present and future experiences of black lives. Ngobeni’s work mirrors the chaos that is the human condition. It unravels the complex chronicles of the black experience, each of which deserves to be told. May this exhibition inspire dialogue, reflection, and a deeper understanding of the black experience, fostering a collective journey toward justice, empowerment, and cultural preservation.
Ngobeni highlights African ancestors’ important contributions and sacrifices through his art, challenging the systems and structures that perpetuate inequality and injustice. Paying tribute to African ancestors is particularly important in a South African context for honouring their contributions and sacrifices, promoting healing and reconciliation, preserving cultural heritage and diversity, and inspiring social change and progress. His works are a powerful reminder of the importance of paying tribute to African ancestors and the ongoing struggle for justice and equality.
Acknowledging and honouring African ancestors is crucial. It is a way of recognizing their significant contributions and sacrifices to their communities, cultures, and societies. These ancestors endured immense hardships, such as enslavement, colonization, and segregation, while others fought tirelessly for freedom, justice, and equality. Hence Ngobeni’s works often incorporate imagery of chains, bondage, and liberation, referencing the history of enslavement and the ongoing struggle for freedom and equality.
By paying tribute to these ancestors, we can show appreciation for their resilience, courage, and perseverance. The process can aid our healing and reconciliation. Many Africans and African descendants worldwide have suffered from the injustices and atrocities committed against their ancestors, resulting in intergenerational trauma and disconnection from their heritage and identity. The rich and diverse history of African cultures encompasses various art forms, music, dance, literature, and spirituality. Ngobeni’s art is integral to these African cultures.
For more information please contact Nkuli at Nkuli@everard.co.za