Through painting, sculpture and installation, Zenaéca Singh interrogates the largely state-produced archive on indentured South African Indians (1860 – 1911), particularly regarding the long history and economy of sugar production.

Her initial archival research prompted oil paintings that comment on labour, landscape and belonging. Next, creating alluring ships with solid crystallized sugar, Singh recalls the vessels that transported Indians to colonial Natal, at the same time nodding to sugar’s embeddedness in earlier histories of slavery. With the continual prospect of the sugar melting, Singh comments on indeterminate outcomes, and the fluidity of transnational identities and cultures.

Please view her debut group exhibition with Guns & Rain in the 2022 Fresh Voices catalogue.

Presented in a recreated domestic setting, her sculptures also reflect on how domestic and familial life interface with extractive global colonial economies, through a common household consumable. Singh is currently completing her BAFA degree at the Michaelis School of Fine Arts in Cape Town, where she was on the Dean’s Merit List in 2021. Her work has been shown in 2022 in Smoke & Ash: The Jagger Library Memorial Exhibition. 

You may view her most recent artworks part of her final year exam show, Tracing the Home, at The Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town.



Exhibitions

  • 2022 Tracing the Home, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town
  • 2022 Fresh Voices, Guns & Rain, Johannesburg
  • 2022 Smoke & Ash: The Jagger Library Memorial Exhibition, University of Cape Town

Grants, Residencies and awards

  • 2021 Deans Merit List
  • 2019 Buntman Family Achievement Award
  • 2018 Top Performing Student in Visual Arts in Gauteng District

Zenaéca Singh on Artsy

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