Who Is ATANG TSHIKARE
Atang Tshikare is a Cape Town based, self-taught multidisciplinary artist. His practice has evolved over twenty years from street art and drawings, to limited-edition collectible design at the intersection of sculptural furniture and functional art, moving more recently to fine art sculpture.
His voice resonates with a visionary African identity that embraces a global contemporary art language.
Born in Bloemfontein in 1980, Atang was influenced from a young age by the visual storytelling and graphic style of his father, an anti-Apartheid activist and illustrator for various pan-African publications and art magazines.
Founding Zabalazaa Designs in 2010, Atang collaborated with local artists and worked on commissions such as Chimurenga Magazine, Adidas Originals, BMW, MTV Base, Belvedere Vodka and Nando’s, to name a few.
Atang has been widely exhibited in South Africa and internationally by Southern Guild gallery (2012-2020), most recently at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair (2020). Further exhibitions include Intersect Chicago (2020), Intersect Aspen (2020), the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (2019). He was a featured designer at 100% Design South Africa (2014) and the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives (2012). His international exhibitions have included PAD London (2019), Design Miami/ Basel (2014, 2016, 2018), Design Discourse in Austria (2016), Design Basel (2014), Design Days Dubai (2013), and group shows in Amsterdam (2018), Switzerland (2015) and Germany (2013).
Atang Tshikare’s work to date has sprung from the dynamic negotiations between an urban dialogue emerging in contemporary art and design consciousness across Africa, and his intuitive sense of primal matter rooted in personal heritage and Southern African cultural knowledge. As he casts his nets towards the global horizon, he is deepening his understanding through his work which will include a 2021 show dedicated to his firstborn son Peo, and a book about his practice.
EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH TO DESIGN
Drawing on a deep connection to his own Tswana and other Southern African cultures, Atang’s work includes sculptures, patterns, and illustrations.
He takes an experimental approach to fabrication in various mediums, including bronze, ceramics, stone and wood.
His creations draw on his fascination with zoomorphic shapes, biomorphic forms, vernacular architecture and local landscapes.
Each form strikes up a dialogue between natural and man-made materials in a tonal range that is most organic and minimalistic, inviting tactile curiosity.
Atang is a recipient of the Future Found award by Southern Guild Design Foundation in 2014 and the Top 200 Young South Africans in 2015. He was a judge for the Dezeen Awards and Elle Decór Solve Competition as well as a nominator for the British Design Museum Beazley Awards. He was invited to be a mentor for the Design Indaba (Emerging Creatives) and the UCT Graduate School of Business BAA programme. Atang has also given talks about his artistic and independent entrepreneurial practice at the Afro-Pop Festival in Amsterdam, the University of Johannesburg in association with the Arts and Culture Department, Inscape Design School and Nandos “Bright Young Things”, among others.