The 2022 Sasol New Signatures Art Competition winner, Mondli Mbhele, showcases his first solo exhibition titled "Ingoma Yothando," alongside the Sasol New Signatures 2023 exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum.
Mbhele's artistic journey began with a year-long visual art program at the Bat Centre as well as participating in the Velobala Weekend Classes hosted by the Durban University of Technology. He is also a member of the Amasosha Art movement.
Mondli was announced the overall winner of the prestigious Sasol New Signatures Art Competition with his vibrant and thought-provoking piece, "Iphasi nesiphesheli." last year.
The "Ingoma Yothando,"exhibition is a profound exploration of transformation within South Africa's youth. Translated from isiZulu, "Ingoma Yothando" means "Song of Love," which serves as the thematic cornerstone of his work.
Mbhele's work questions transformation in the life of people in South Africa, specifically the youth. His creative vision is deeply rooted in traditional dances and their accompanying music. Most of these dances are performed during different ceremonies such as the introduction of a new family member, initiations for young men and women, weddings, funerals, even harvest seasons as a way to pay tribute to those who went before.
These dances can be used as a vehicle to recall the past in order to have balance in one's physical and spiritual life, both in the present and in the future. These dances were passed down from generation to generation. Mbhele's concern is with the preservation of these traditions in an era where technology and social media threatens to overpower the fabric of society and the rituals which have provided guidance.
The medium of fabric collage resonates with his interpretation of daily existence.