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Visual artist unveils hidden talent



VISUAL artist Edwin Abasi Chinyama says he is engaging talented youths through art film in a bid to showcase hidden talent and fight social injustices.

In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, the South Africa-based artist said the film, to be released before year end, would be a strategic move in showcasing various forms of art.

“I came up with an idea of bringing art and film together and managed to convince local youths in Cape Town about the idea.

“The main goal of the project is to highlight hidden talent from my community through the film,” he said.

Chinyama said he had had young people and communities at heart from a young age.

“After graduating from the School of Visual Arts and Design at the National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ), I was selected to work on mural paintings in Mbare (2016), a project on the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) with other musicians such as Afro-jazz musician Edith Weutonga and Baba Shupi,” he said.

“The project was sponsored by Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) Belgium and featured artists such as Pamela Mugorosa, Victor Nyakauru and Clive Mukucha.

“During that year, I helped St Michael’s Primary School in Mbare on their exhibition in Japan where they won the first place.”

Chinyama said the road to stardom had been a rocky one.

“It is not that easy to establish your name in the art industry especially when you are coming from college with no representatives.

“I found it hard especially in foreign land as gallery owners have their own artists and it takes time to convince them (you have what it takes to be great),” he said.

“Nevertheless, the more you keep on showing up in exhibition talkshows, that is when they start to recognise you.”

He said his craft focused on racism, homosexuality, abortion and human rights.

“I do semi-abstract art, I concentrate more on deformed figures, shapes and symbols.

“These are things affecting the growth of nations and it is up to us artists to come up with ideas on how we can control or end it,” he said.

“Sometimes I receive threatening messages from political sides. Some galleries refuse to collect my work because of its subject matter. However, society is getting to understand the value and the message in art.”

Chinyama said he would continue highlighting societal ills through art.

“I am no longer relying on galleries or art fairs to take place as I am able to connect with my clients either online or through my studio.

“My first exhibition was at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe from 2014 to 2016,” he said.

“I have also done exhibitions at Gallery Delta, Dzimbanhete Art Interactions (2014), and Association for Visual Arts (AVA) gallery in 2017 to 2019, Zeitz Mocaa Museum (2020).”

He said his dream was to reveal hidden voices of all visual artists.

“Everyday I see greatness in myself. I cannot say I  have achieved a lot, but I am still pushing. I need to change lives, help the needy, groom young talent and raise the Zimbabwean flag high,” he said.

  • Follow Kimberly on Twitter @lizellekimkari

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