T293 is pleased to host ‘Kuedza Mudzimu nesengere’, the first solo exhibition in Italy and Europe by Tendai Mupita (1990, Harare). For this occasion, his most recent series of large drawings and a video installation are presented.
The works on display draw inspiration from the religious and spiritual tradition of Zimbabwe, the artist’s homeland and where he still lives and works, to investigate the process, conditions and results of meditation. Through the techniques of drawing and painting, Mupita intends to lead the observer on a contemplative journey within the African cultural environment and towards the search for oneself.
The title of the exhibition ‘Kuedza Mudzimu nesengere’ is an ancient expression in Shona, the artist’s native language, which could be translated – as himself explains – into “those who are willing to take dangerous risks”, “those who are inclined to make efforts, generally considered wasted due to the almost certainly negative outcome they will have”. Mupita identifies and embodies this figure in each of his works and faces, with intense contemplation, the macro and micro environment that surrounds him.
During long walks in his countryside, the artist observes the landscapes, villages, fabrics and animals that populate these immense environments and translates them into colorful motifs, composed on the basis of infinite small circles. “Each particle”, explains Mupita, “contains an entire universe and, reducing the elements in its smallest fragments, I invite the public, through a more intimate and closer observation, to enter with me on an exploratory journey, which would have my work as a starting point to then reach a more intimate inner level”.
The meditative act produces an almost hypnotic painting, which seeks new possibilities for the representation of reality through the repetition of the circle motif. Only an attentive observation of the paintings allows us to distinguish – in the compositional multitude – natural elements and hybrid creatures, which visually translate the ideal conception of Mupita according to which no hierarchy between living beings is allowed, since men, animals and organic matter occupy the same egalitarian level of importance.
The large drawings and the video on display represents Tendai Mupita’s effort to convey to the public the almost mystical experience that goes through him during the creative act. In this way, Mupita offers the viewer a sincere and real experience for them to approach in a closer fashion the tradition of his land and the symbolism of his rich culture.