Visual artist Dada flying solo
In his first solo exhibition, visual artist Dada Khanyisa makes a social commentary about how technology has taken over our lives.
Titled Bamb'iphone, the show is on at the Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town until June 30.
Khanyisa, who hails from Mzimkhulu in KwaZulu-Natal, is one of the exciting young artists who are coming to the fore.
He presents a three-dimensional exhibition which encompasses paintings, drawings and sculptures, while exploring the ambiguity of this object that is used almost daily. But, he avoids simplistic conclusions, instead looking at opposing perspectives to defy linear ways of thinking.
Bamb'iphone which translates as "pick up the phone" or "hold the phone", draws the viewer's attention to the myriad narratives around a phone.
Works such as Khawu'phinde umtryeh (Try them again) and Squad Goals portray scenes from multiple vantage points.
The visual and audio ambiguities in this exhibition channel the oral tradition's method of call and response, choreographing an open-ended relationship between the works.
Khanyisa explains: "Bamb'iphone depicts a tapestry of interweaving viewpoints and stories in constant shift. Images captured are sourced from party photos uploaded by nightclubs, Instagram posts, and pages from old Drum magazines. They are re-configured to express a unique generational viewpoint."
He says that the relations around power and consumption that arrived with cellphones, excitement around game-changing handsets, and the democracy of the internet changed people's minds.
"As a member of a social group - witnessing the accelerating speed between cycles of relevance and how these manifest in material culture and the social fabric has taken over our lives," he says.
Bambi'phone seeks to articulate culture, the paranoia and aspirations of the digital immigrants who preceded digital natives.
Khanyisa studied a BA in fine arts at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town.
He has participated in group exhibitions at various galleries across the country, including Stevenson's A Painting Today last year.
In 2015, he won the SA Taxi Art merit award and, consequently, his works were featured on 10 taxis travelling on the main South Africa routes.