A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

A New Manifesto

Special Guest Blogger: Christen  Faver, MA in African Studies

During my time at the Living Artists Emporium, in Johannesburg, it was interesting to be at the forefront of emerging art. What I had not expected was the diverse art movements that had come out of this humble collective. Two of the major movements were the Superblur movement, started by artist Conrad Bo, and the Khanda-Art, Sythentic Cubism movement, started by Siyabonga Mlambi. The manifestos of these movements have been integrated into the styles and artist statements of many of the local creatives. This post aims to explore some of the fundamentals of these movements that have been founded over the last eight years.


Superblur Manifesto:

  1. Superblur refers to a method of creating art using the definition of the word blur.
  2. Thus, the focus of the art will be to make the object or classification of the art unclear, or less distinct.
  3. Superblur will also focus on elements that cannot be seen or heard clearly.
  4. When photography is used with the elements of Superblur in mind, the camera will be manipulated or even be shaken to blur the picture and the aim is to produce images that are similar to abstract art in paintings.
  5. Instead of creating art for the sake of art, elements of art movements such as Superflat, Superstroke, Cubism and so forth, will be blurred in an attempt to create art that will be known as Superblur art.
  6. The Symbol for Superblur is the abstract barcode to differentiate it from other art movements such as Neo-Expressionism.

Some of the artists that have operated in this movement are Conrad Bo, Vincent Mbeje, Simphiwe Mlangeni, and Ayanda Nkosi.

An example can be seen in the following painting by Vincent Mbeje titled VB06.

It is evident that there are elements of abstraction in these humanistic figures. Furthermore, common elements such as the barcode lines and equations are incorporate in an ode to the mundanity created by repetition. There is no clear message communicated through imagery or definition, as the painting is largely unexplained.

Khanda-Art, Sythentic Cubism Manifesto:

Mlambi describes his movement as a “style [that] entertains the viewer with beauty and desire that the eye cannot see but only the heart can feel”. Mlambi really came to define this movement in the last year, and officially published details of Khanda-Art in February of 2021. The development of Khanda-Art can be found in the definition of Khanda. This term is of Nguni-origin. It can be understood as the process of creating something from scratch. More specifically, the process of moulding and development to create something of intrinsic value. This art movement is the child of a universe whose roots have a stronghold in (South) Africa. The aim and desire of Khanda-Art, specifically, is to entertain the viewer with a beauty that encourages your imagination to flow and push-boundaries beyond your wildest expectations.

An example can be seen in the following painting by Siyabonga Mlambi titled M58.

It is evident that Mlambi draws heavily from cubist influences as his artworks tend to have strong geometric features. Furthermore, his process of “creating from scratch” can be seen in every piece, as each one is mixed-medium and uses found materials. Some of the most common materials used in his work are bottle caps, paint cans, tin, string and cardboard. That being said, the intrinsic beauty that Mlambi intends to convey is a wholly subjective experience.

Although Arthur Danto preached “the end of art” in 2015 it would appear that innovation still holds true in the creative sectors. It is well-worth documenting new niche movements that are emerging, and I might add, very quickly gaining ground.







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This entry was posted on April 15, 2021 by in Authors, Guest Blogger and tagged , , , .

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