Facebook: Kuyasa Kela
Modern Xhosa Aesthetics and The Stages Of Growth Of A Xhosa Male
My work include a series of drawings and paintings inspired by elements in Xhosa culture. The elements includes the village setting, clothing, African spirituality and how it blends with modern items to maintain itself. I incorporate realistic and surreal imagery that creates a dream like feel to ordinary scenes to reflect African spirituality that is included through stories that we share. It then narrowed down to a topic that is more personal and specific. The topic that revolves around the idea of Xhosa initiation process( Ulwaluko) and growth. These works then also referred to myself specifically so that I can relate the experiences that I have and then continued to incorporate surrealist elements so that the images can be more suggestive in the ways that it’s perceived.
The artworks aim to celebrate the ideas that are still remaining in Xhosa culture and how it assimilates itself to the spaces around it. It also aims to incorporate concepts expressed in Xhosa culture and the suggestions of the history that echoes through the circumstances that the Xhosa people around me have adapted to. It’s a take of the black experience through the eyes of a Xhosa male in multi racial post apartheid South Africa, whose also trying to assimilate his own culture in multiracial South Africa while trying to learn more about the culture. It’s a mixture of and intuitive and deliberate representation that aims to create visuals that begs to be analyzed and further the developing discourse of an up and coming artist and academic.
Kuyasa Kela is a South African-born, emerging artist from East London based in Johannesburg. He is a Xhosa-speaking male. He has a strong passion for art and has been making art from an early age. He received a Bachelor’s Degree from The University of Fort Hare in 2017. He was a part-time tutor in Fort Hare. In 2018, he represented the gallery Art Versatile as an artist, where he produced a series of artworks based on a specific theme (The Heroes of The Eastern Cape). In 2019, he then took part in-group exhibitions at Ann Bryant art gallery and Florendale art gallery in East London. In 2021, he collaborated with the Sonwa Sakuba Institute of Performance and Dance and the Amaza sound journey on events. In the same year, he also took part in an Interview in Sunday Sessions with Gugu Phandle.
He specializes in drawing and painting but also works with digital arts and graphics design. He makes portraits (drawings and paintings) and introspective, vivid surrealist-inspired artworks (painting and digital art) that explore spiritual, social, and political themes. He also experimented with silkscreen printing where he printed his digital art on plain t-shirts.
In 2023, he moved to Johannesburg to further his education. He is currently doing his honours at the University of Witwatersrand.