Masimba Hwati

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Masimba Hwati
Masimba Hwati at Harare Polytechnic 2012.jpg
Hwati in 2012
Masimba Hwati

Highfield, Zimbabwe
EducationAkademie Der Bildenden Künste, Wien Österreich, Harare Polytechnic
University of Michigan
OccupationMultidisciplinary Artist
Known forUnconventional three-dimensional mixed media sculptures,Experimental sound work and research.
Books-Sokunge (As If) Paperback – April 28, 2021 by Masimba Hwati (Author), Ryan Chokureva (Interviewer), Baynham Goredema (Designer)

Masimba Hwati is an interdisciplinary artist from Zimbabwe, working internationally at the intersections of sculpture, performance, and sound, known for his unconventional three-dimensional mixed media sculptures.[1] Hwati graduated from Harare Polytechnic School of Art and Design in 2003 where he majored in Ceramics and Painting.[2] Hwati taught Visual Arts and 3D Art at Harare Polytechnic School of Art and Design.[3] He is a PhD Candidate at Akademie Der Bildenden Künste Wien ,Österreich,an MFA from Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design University of Michigan, Ann Arbor[4] He was most recently, included in the Montreal Museum of Fine Art's (MMFA) exhibition, Face To Face: From Yesterday to Today, Non-Western Art and Picasso. In 2015, he was also one of three artists , along with Chikonzero Chazunguza and Gareth Nyandoro, selected for Pixels Of Ubuntu/Unhu for the Zimbabwean Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale.[5] He is an honorary research fellow at Rhodes University Fine Arts Department in Grahamstown, South Africa.

Techniques and aims[edit]

Hwati explores the transformation and evolution of knowledge systems that are indigenous to his own background whilst experimenting with the symbolism and perceptions attached to cultural objects, expressed as an art movement known as "The Energy of Objects".[clarification needed][3]

Hwati attempts to work from basics, creating his own pigments, and creating objects from basic materials.[1] His works use contemporary and historical themes.[5] He also works extensively with found objects, transfoming existing artifacts into elements of works of art.[3]

Hwati says that he should be able to find at least 35 variations in any given object, but says that often he cannot realize more than ten.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

The University of Michigan School of Art wrote about Hwati's 2015 exhibition there:

Zimbabwean multi-disciplinary artist Masimba Hwati examines postcolonial themes by re-appropriating archives and objects and presenting them in new contexts. With an emphasis on sculptural work, Hwati collects historical, culturally imbued items ranging from cars and shoes, to scrap metal and found objects, altering and repositioning them in a contemporary urban setting.[7]

Hwati was named amongst 12 "The Ones to Watch" by New African Magazine[8] ahead of the 1-54 Contemporary Art Fair in London at Somerset House.

Awards and honors[edit]

In 2006 Hwati won the National Art Merit Award, the highest individual art honour in Zimbabwe. He was one of three national representatives who had a showing at the Zimbabwean Pavilion exhibition, Pixels Of Ubuntu/Unhu, at the 56th Venice Biennale.

Year Institution[citation needed] Award
2018 Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design (MFA First Year Exhibition) Jean-Paul Slusser Award
2016 Cape Town Art Fair Special Project
2015 56th Venice Biennale Pixels Of Ubuntu/Unhu [5]
2006  National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA)[9]
2014 Research Fellow the Arts of Africa and the Global South search Program Rhodes University Grahamstown South Africa Associate Artist /Honorary


Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • 2017  Art Brussels - Belgium  (Solo booth Smac Gallery)
  • 2017   Instruments of Memory Stellenbosch Cape Town
  • 2016   Instruments of Memory / Simbi dzeNdangariro Smac Gallery Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa[10]
  • 2016   Joburg Art fair Trek: Following Journeys 16.05.15 – 27.06.15[11]
  • 2014   Quantumlogik, Solo Exhibition, Gallery Delta Harare Zimbabwe
  • 2010   Facsimiles of Energy, Solo Exhibition, Gallery Delta Harare Zimbabwe

Group exhibitions[edit]

  • 2015 Venice Biennale All the Worlds’ futures Curated by Okwui Enwezor, Pixels of Ubuntu Zimbabwe pavilion, curated by Raphael Chikukwa[12]
  • 2015 London I:54 Art Fair, London, UK[13]


  1. ^ a b "Masimba Hwati". KooVha. KooVha Gallery.
  2. ^ "Masimba Hwati". SMAC Gallery. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Hwati Explores Culture Through Found Objects". The Herald. July 23, 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Masimba Hwati". Stamps School of Art and Design. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "News: Chazunguza, Masimba Hwati, and Gareth Nyandoro are the Representatives for the Zimbabwe Pavilion at la Biennale di Venezia 56th International Art-Exhibition". Venice Biennale. Biennial Foundation.
  6. ^ "Masimba Hwati - The Artis". POVO. 4 April 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Masimba Hwati: A Thousand Ikons". STAMPS. University of Michigan School of Art and Design. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  8. ^ "The ones-to-watch". New African Magazine. October 2015.
  9. ^ Chaya, Vasco (24 February 2014). "WeUtonga tears into NACZ over NAMA". Daily News. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Masimba Hwati : Instruments of Memory / Simbi dzeNdangariro". C&. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  11. ^ "FNB JoburgArtFair: Masimba Hwati and Gareth Nyandoro | Presented by SMAC Gallery". Art Africa. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  12. ^ Timmermans, Amélie (May 14, 2015). "'PIXELS OF UBUNTU/UNHU' – PAVILION OF ZIMBABWE". Intese Art Magazine. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  13. ^ McCool, Alice (October 23, 2015). "African Artists At London's "1:54 Art Fair" Rethink Traditions". Okay Africa. Retrieved April 21, 2019.