- Senior Lecturer
- Rhodes University
This research creates new bridges between the study of contemporary art of South Africa and China in order to explore and complicate recently revived Sino-African relations. Responding to the “Western” bias of the international art world, it positions current Sino-African engagements in the scholarship of the “Global South,” and critiques metageographies that stereotype African and Asian societies. Further, this mobilizes a critique of Western-driven theories of diaspora and globalization. Contemporary visual art is analyzed as a way of examining sociopolitical changes, and as a way of responding, in a nuanced way, to China’s global socioeconomic and cultural expansion. Major themes include contemporary clashes with traditional culture; commodification and kitsch; walls as metaphors for boundaries and security; text, meaning, and power; and nation, place, and site-specificity. Following these themes, “conversations” between specific Chinese and South African artists will be explored.