PHILLEMON HLUNGWANI

 

Born in Giyani, Limpopo in Thomo Village, South Africa

 

EDUCATION
He attended Thomo High School where he obtained a first class in Art for Matric. 
2000    Studies Fine Art at the Johannesburg Art Foundation. 
2000    Wins the King Korn competition and is one of the finalists for the Absa Gallery competition.
2001     Wins the King Korn competition and is one of the finalists for the Absa Gallery competition. 
He then went to the WITS School of Art to study a teacher’s training course for art and started at the Artist Proof Studios, where he is still based today teaching professional printmaking classes.

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2011     Knysna Fine Art, Knysna 
            ‘Loko dyambu rixa, rixa ni swa rona’  (The sun rises with its own fortunes)
            Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg 
            ‘Loko dyambu rixa, rixa ni swa rona’  (The sun rises with its own fortunes)
2009     Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg 
            “Tshungulo Wuyisiwa E Mahlweni  (The healing process)”.
            UCT Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town 
            “Tshungulo Wuyisiwa E Mahlweni (The healing process)”.
            Awarded a sojourn in New York by the Ampersand foundation.
2008     ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg
            “The Tsonga is the Shadow of Xigaza“.

 

A COMMENT FROM TRENT READ
Phillemon has been involved in numerous workshops, commissions, solo exhibitions and group exhibitions. He has participated in the following group exhibitions: Heritage Day for Arts and Culture exhibition in Belgium, Spark Gallery, Art on Paper, RAU, The Gallery Premises and the JAG. His solo exhibitions were in Soweto sponsored by Kaya FM, Sowetan, Sunday world and Absolut Vodka and at The Gallery Premises.  He has been commissioned to do work for Raphael Suites and Michelangelo Towers in Sandton and a tribute mural to Picasso at the Standard Bank Art Gallery

 

Phillemon Hlungwani grew up near Giyani in rural Limpopo and it is the traditional customs and cultural practices of his community of which he is deeply proud, which inform all that he does as an artist. As a young herdboy tending the family goats, he learnt the bushveld landscape in intimate detail and he depicts the bones and soul of it as no artist before him.

 

His virtuoso drawing ability and a sensitive and very contemporary aesthetic sense make him one of our finest talents.

 

In this exhibition, he effortlessly segues between drawing, etching and linocuts and the mindshift that must occur as he approaches each discipline (at 90° to the last) and the technical skills required to handle such enormous plates is astounding. However technique alone does not make great art and here again Hlungwani shows a vision beyond his years. His work is deceptively simple and often tender, but there is a sinewy strength to his line which so perfectly suits his subject and the results are invariably beautiful.