With the sheer number of submissions to the Sculpture category of the 2018 PPC Imaginarium Awards Zimbabwe, it is no wonder judging fell to a group of formidable industry specialists. Among the judges was acclaimed local artist Chikonzero Chazunguza, who brought cognisance of social issues as well as experience in numerous artistic disciplines.
An extensive career precedes Chazunguza’s role as a judge of the first-ever PPC Imaginarium Awards Zimbabwe. In the late 1980s, he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Institute of Pictorial Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria. There he learnt printmaking, drawing and painting and spent seven years watching Bulgaria undergo major transformations.
Chazunguza returned to Zimbabwe after the fall of the Soviet Union; there he intended to combine his European training with indigenous Zimbabwean art and his resource centre, Dzimbanhete Arts Interaction (which still operates), can be seen as an answer to the future of Zimbabwean contemporary art.
He comments: “My art reflects upon how our constructed notions of identity, happiness, freedom and ‘democracy’ are shaped and shifted by issues such as spirituality, disposition, denied access, interferences with basic commodities, and the painful evolution of ancient cultural traditions into contemporary yet uncertain urbanised communities.”
As a visual artist and provocateur, Chazunguza creates works that are multidisciplinary and that pose questions about the unstable role and nature of art in its postcolonial context. In raising his concerns, he is known to experiment with objects of everyday African life to create prints, paintings and installations. While seeking to re-connect with local modes of fabrication and visuality, he explores where these overlap with Western traditions to produce new forms and visual experiences.
Chazunguza has held solo shows in Africa, Europe and North America and is the recipient of numerous accolades. In 2015, he joined two artists to attend the 56th International Art Exhibition (La Biennale di Venezia) as representatives of Zimbabwe and the three produced new artworks and multimedia installations that conveyed an authentic Zimbabwean environment.
With his vast knowledge and visual expertise, we are proud Chazunguza joined the judges of our maiden PPC Imaginarium Awards Zimbabwe.