Mongezi Ncaphayi was born in Benoni in Eastern Gauteng, South Africa, where he currently lives and works. Following his graduation with a Diploma in Art and Design from the Ekurhuleni East College-Benoni in 2005, Ncaphayi completed a Professional Printmaking Course at Artist Proof Studio in 2008. In 2012, Ncaphayi obtained a Certificate in Advanced Studies from School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, USA. Most recently, Ncaphayi was awarded the Africa First Art Prize at the 2019 Investec Cape Town Art Fair – which will culminate in a solo presentation at the 2020 Investec Cape Town Art Fair. In 2016, he was awarded a grant from the Prince Claus Fund Grant in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 2013, he was the recipient of the prestigious Absa L’atelier Gerard Sekoto Award, earning him a three-month residency at the Cite Des Arts in Paris, France. In 2011, Ncaphayi received the Ampersand Foundation Fellowship in New York City, USA. Selected artist-in-residency programmes include: The Atelier le Grand Village Residency in Angouleme, France, in 2014 and the Thami Manyele Foundation Residency in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 2016. In 2016, Ncaphayi presented his inaugural solo exhibition, Spirit’s Response, which debuted at the ABSA Art Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa. The exhibition travelled to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), Port Elizabeth, South Africa; Alliance Française, Pretoria, South Africa; and the KwaZulu Natal Society of the Arts (KZNSA), Durban, South Africa. Ncaphayi has since presented three solo exhibitions with SMAC Gallery: Journey to the One in 2016 at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg; and Which Way is East? in 2017 and, Of the seeking or the finding, in SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg in 2019. Selected group exhibitions include: Print Promises and Filling in the Gaps, both at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa in 2019; African Amicitiae at the Arti et Amicitiae Society in association with the Thami Mnyele Foundation in Amsterdam, Netherlands; the 10th World Triennial of Printmaking in Chamalieres, France; and A Change in the Narrative: ABSA L’Atelier Winners Exhibition, Absa Art Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa, all in 2017; the 8th International Printmaking Biennale Douro at the Museu do Douro, Peso da Regua, Portugal; and The Art of Humanity at the Rubell and Norman Schafler Gallery, Pratt Institute, New York City, USA, both in 2016; Map of the New Art at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, Italy; Back to the Future II: Abstract Art in South Africa – Past & Present at SMAC Gallery in Stellenbosch, South Africa; and Imago Mundi: The Art of Humanity at the Museo Carlo Bilotti in Rome, Italy, all in 2015 and Reclaiming Lives at the Boston Arts Academy in Boston, USA, in 2009.
This installation is a quiet abstraction that offers an allusive, layered, and gently celebratory interpretation
of displacement and spiritual (un) rest. The pieces echo something in between curtains billowing out of a window, planning their escape, and declarative banners lining a hall.