Thina Dube’s work has long explored identity politics in South Africa: he frequently references identity’s many layers, both visible and hidden, and its fluid qualities, constantly changing and responding to social environments.

Often using his own skillfully crafted handmade paper, Thina has, amongst other themes, explored the politics of language in South Africa, and the ways in which individual identities are dramatically shaped by what languages they can or cannot speak.

View Thina’s catalogue for Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2022.

View Thina’s catalogue for the 1-54 Contemporary Art Fair London 2021.

Thina’s “Fourth Wall” series of monotypes and paintings unpacks themes around identity, social inclusion, the media and perceived realities. The “fourth wall” is a performance convention in theatre: an invisible, imagined wall separates actors from the audience. The audience can see through this “wall”, but the actors pretend that they cannot. “Breaking the fourth wall” is any instance where this performance convention is violated. Thina’s work explores this ‘breaking’ in relation to how the negative and positive space in his work allows the audience to engage with the figures depicted, and to consider their own realities. The blind embossing questions the notion of identity as being ‘engraved’ or rooted from birth; the idea that we are meant to carry our families ideologies, which are rooted both in African cultures and relics of colonialism. The doily motif invokes femininity, reminding us that our gendered identity is often dependent on context and situation.

Watch what Thina gets up to in his studio.

Born in 1993, Thina is a graduate of the University of Johannesburg, holds a postgraduate diploma in Education, and teaches at the National School of the Arts. Thina is also an art therapist who has worked with children with special needs. He has exhibited in multiple group shows including Turbine Art Fair, Constitution Hill, Sguzu Press Soweto, and AVA Cape Town. In 2018, he exhibited at the Stellenbosch Museum, ABSA, Eclectica and InToto, and also completed a residency with First Floor Gallery Harare. His first solo took place at Guns & Rain in 2018; he has worked with the gallery since 2015.


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Exhibitions 
  • 2022 Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Group show, Cape Town
  • 2021 Paper Exhibitions, Group Exhibitions, Berman Contemporary, Johannesburg
  • 2020 ARCO Lisboa, Portugal, Online
  • 2020 (Re)constructing The Shadow, with Tawanda Takura, Guns & Rain Johannesburg
  • 2o19 Guns & Rain, Latitudes Art Fair, Johannesburg
  • 2018 Guns & Rain, AKAA, Paris
  • 2018 Solo Exhibition, Guns & Rain, Johannesburg
  • 2018 Residency, First Floor Gallery Harare
  • 2018 Group Exhibition, In Toto, Johannesburg
  • 2018 Group Exhibition, Eclectica Contemporary, Cape Town
  • 2018 The Last Harvest, Solo Exhibition, Stellenbosch Museum, Cape Town
  • 2018 Talking to Deaf Ears, Group Exhibition, ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg
  • 2017 Salon, Group Exhibition, AVA Gallery, Cape Town
  • 2017 White Noise, Group Exhibition, Joburg Fringe Fair
  • 2017 Partnership Editions, AKAA Art Fair, Paris
  • 2017 Facing Fanagalo, Solo Exhibition, Guns & Rain and National School of the Arts, Johannesburg
  • 2016 Bua, Group exhibition, Sguzu Press, Soweto
  • 2016 Group Exhibition, International AIDS Conference, Durban
  • 2016 Reconnect, Group Exhibition, Eyethu Gallery
  • 2016 Guns & Rain, Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg
  • 2015 Guns & Rain, Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg
  • 2015 Group exhibition, a collaboration with Ka’plan, Constitution Hill, Johannesburg
  • 2014 3rd Year Group Exhibition, FADA Gallery, University of Johannesburg

Thina Dube on Artsy

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