Songbird, Fly High And Far
In post-Apartheid South Africa, Kemang Wa Lehulere represents a new generation of artists using multiple mediums and formats to remember the destruction and repression of that era. A recurring motif in his work is the bird, which symbolizes the yearning for freedom and the voices that were silenced during Apartheid. In an effort to prevent older creatives from being forgotten and fading away, Wa Lehulere fuses the old with the new by reinterpreting works by older black South African artists, including those by Gladys “Bird Lady” Mgudlandlu, who similarly used the bird extensively in her art. Wa Lehulere is Deutsche Bank’s Artist of the Year, and his first solo exhibition, Bird Song, will be showing at the Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle (p. 40) until 18 June.