The exhibition (on view until 20 February 2022) invites us to enter Ubuntu, an as-yet undiscovered space within our imagination and our bodies of knowledge.
This term, which belongs to the Bantu languages of South Africa, evokes notions of humanity, collectivity, and hospitality. Though difficult to translate into Western languages, it can be considered as: 'I am because we are.'
With Atom, a large set of paintings created for the exhibition, whose title alludes to the first stanza of the poem Song of Myself by Walt Whitman, #Hwami makes claim for an 'I' that becomes the subject of history while standing up for an individuality, in an awareness of an interconnected humanity:
'I celebrate myself / And sing myself, / And what I assume you shall assume / For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.'
Image:Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, Atom Painting #4, 2021
Oil and acrylic on canvas
200 x 200 cm overall dims, 78 3/4 x 118 1/8 in (2 panels 100 x 100 cm, 1 panel 100 x 200 cm)
© Kudzanai-Violet Hwami
Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro⠀