Photo: Adam McConnachie


Working in a wide range of mediums, including painting, installation and performance, Kemang Wa Lehulere reflects on the historical narratives of native South Africans and the aftermath of apartheid. He explores the malleability of history and presents protests against forgetting.

Wa Lehulere’s solo exhibitions include not even the departed stay grounded, Marian Goodman Gallery, London (2018); Bird Song, Pasquart Art Centre, Biel, Switzerland (2018); MAXXI, Rome (2017) and Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, Berlin (2017); In All My Wildest Dreams, Art Institute of Chicago (2016); Sincerely Yours, Gasworks, London (2015); Thirty Minutes of Amnesia: Act 1, Goethe-Institut, Johannesburg (2011) and Ubontsi: Sharp Sharp!, Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town (2009). Among his group exhibitions are Sculpture, Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean, Port Louis, Mauritius (2018); O Triângulo Atlântico, 11th Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2018); More for Less, A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town (2018); Tell Freedom. 15 South African Artists, Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort, the Netherlands (2018); The South African Pavilion without Walls, Performa 17, New York (2017); Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2017); African Odysseys, BRASS – Centre Culturel de Forest, Brussels (2015); 8th Berlin Biennale (2014) and Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2014).

He has been awarded Deutsche Bank's Artist of the Year (2017); Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Arts, South Africa (2015); First International Tiberius Art Award, Dresden, Germany (2014) and 15th Baloise Art Prize, Art Basel (2013). He also completed a residency at the Ampersand Foundation, New York (2012).

Wa Lehulere is a founding member of the Center for Historical Reenactments, Johannesburg and a co-founder of the Gugulective, Cape Town. He received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (2011).

He was born in 1984 in Cape Town, where he continues to live and work.

SAF participation:
Sharjah Biennial 14

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