Mongezi Ncaphayi’s work stands out from his contemporaries for its abstract qualities. His screenprints are intricate webs, carefully mapped out, as if tracing the stories of an organically evolving landscape. Ncaphayi’s explores and investigates South Africa’s socio-political history, in particular the history of mineworkers and mining politics. Trained at the Artist Proof Studio in Johannesburg, Ncapahyi is interested in the displacement of the migrant worker, the assimilation of cultures, and systems that governed migratory relations. Also a jazz musician, the artist says he uses music as a tool in his work for dealing with situations, as would the migrant workers of times gone by, reminiscing about their homelands.
Ncaphayi was the 2013 recipient of the ABSA L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Award, which facilitated his completion of two residencies in 2014: at Atelier le Grand Village (Angouleme, France), and at Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris, France). Most recently (2016), Ncaphayi undertook a residency at the Thami Mnyele Foundation in Amsterdam. He has also undertaken residencies at The Ampersand Foundation (New York, U.S.A), Mixit Print Studio (Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.) and Nirox Foundation (Johannesburg, S.A.), among others. His work is in the collections of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, U.S.A, Mastercard, Southern New Hampshire University, U.S.A, Jack Ginsberg, The Ampersand Foundation and more. His first solo exhibition, Spirit’s Response, opened at the ABSA Art Gallery in February 2016, and was well received throughout its countrywide tour that year. Ncaphayi has received extensive local and international recognition for his work, including multiple awards, and has held a host of group and solo shows in multiple countries.
Exhibitions, Awards & Collections
2012 1st prize –“Decision 2012” – Printmaking Juried Show,
School of the Museum of Fine Arts
2011 Fellowship – Ampersand Foundation, New York
2011 Scholarship – School of the Museum of Fine Arts
2008 Scholarship – Linda Givon, Goodman Gallery
2013 Rethink Ink: Juried Show – Cantor Art Gallery, Boston, U.S.A
2013 ABSA L’Atelier Competition, Johannesburg
2013 “Making Connections” Peck School Of Arts, Milwaukee, U.S.A.
2012 Gallery 2, Johannesburg
2012 “Boston-Jo’burg Connection”, Tufts University Gallery, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
2012 “Coming Of Age: 21 Years Of Artist Proof Studio”, Johannesburg Art Gallery
2012 “Rethink-Ink, Mixit At 25”, Boston Public Library, U.S.A.
2012 “Juried Show”, Boston Public Library, Boston,U.S.A.
2012 “Trans-Atlantic Fun-O-Pack Print Exchange”, Edinburgh College Of Art, Edinburgh, Scotland
2012 Mcininch Art Gallery, Southern New Hampshire University, U.S.A.
2011 “Landscape Revisited”, Artist Proof Studio Gallery, Johannesburg
2010 “Tomorrow, Today”, Right On The Rim: Exhibition Space, Johannesburg
2010 ABSA Gallery (L’Atelier Finalist), Johannesburg
2009 “Reclaiming Lives” Boston Arts Academy, Boston, U.S.A.
2009 “Reclaiming Lives” Mcininch Art Gallery, Southern New Hampshire
2009 “30:30”Springs Art Gallery (Catalogued), Johannesburg
2009 Artist Proof Studio Gallery, Johannesburg
2009 Absa Gallery (L’atelier Finalist – Catalogued), Johannesburg
2008 Constitution Hill, Johannesburg
2008 Artist Proof Studio Gallery, Johannesburg
2008 “Cpf” Boogertman & Partners Head Offices (Catalogued), Johannesburg
2007 “Isithunzi” Thompson Gallery, Johannesburg
2006 “International Small Works Show” Emerald Gallery, Fairfield, Iowa, U.S.A.