Asanda Kupa’s latest body of work, Relearn, my soul is a culmination of a period of Kupa’s self-investigation that grappled with the importance of the three stages of life: birth, life and death. His explorations have taken him on a journey to find himself, and in the process he has produced these works, which offer an illustration of this.
A recurrent feature of Kupa’s works are densely populated crowd scenes. He explains that “I use crowds as a symbol of oneness, that everything is connected and all is one”. In this sense, Kupa invites a sense of community and shared experience, reflecting his personal intentional commitment towards relearning.
Throughout the exhibition, his aim is to convey and explore change, for both the arts and the subjects he depicts. The works reflect three stages: destructiveness, messiness, and fulfilment – where each image unfolds and rebuilds across the picture plan and throughout the exhibition.
Relearn, my soul emerges from a space of fulfilment. Kupa delved into destruction, experienced messiness and reappears resolved and affirmed – having unlearned to relearn.
Asanda Kupa is a rising talent amongst South African painters. He was born in Molteno, in the Eastern Cape and has always been drawn to the illustrative arts. He began his higher studies in 2005, furthering his studies in 2008 and also has worked closely with fellow painter and acclaimed artist, Aleta Michelatos. Kupa has won numerous awards, throughout his study period and after, winning the Reinhold Cassirer Award in 2013. His expressive mark making and abstraction of the human form creates a vivid and moving body of work that seems to explore change, progression and alteration through the language of narrative painting in a uniquely abstract manner. Kupa’s gestural works command a great presence in each space they can be found and his investment of time, energy and emotion as well as immense skill becomes apparent.
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