Bongani Khanyile was born in Greytown in 1990 and lives and work between Johannesburg, Durban and China. He completed his postgraduate Degree in Fine Art at Durban University of Technology, Durban in 2014. He was awarded a Merit Award from SASOL New Signatures competition for 2014 and his work has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions nationally and abroad. He was an Emma Smith Art Scholarship nominee for 2013. Khanyile has participated in significant public commissions and projects including KPMG Art project 2013 and Kang Jianfei woodcut project of 2014. His work form part of collection with SASOL, Confucius Institute, KPMG and numerous private collections. Known for his ceramics helmets installation, Khanyile’s body of work consists of various mediums including drawing, ceramics-sculpture, painting and linocut. His work investigates socioeconomic divisions of South African society. His latest upcoming project titled Tears of the Nation further examines the current South African status quo.
My work explores socioeconomic issues and the current status quo to examine the historic and current issues of class and economic inequalities under the South African landscape. Class is a focal aspect of the work and this is layered with economic complexities. Inequality, difference and social imbalance are fundamental to class distinction and promote the turmoil of marginalization, exploitation and dissatisfaction within society. Even though my work expresses these issues, I still draw a lot from my historical background of the rural working class as well as my current lifestyle. I use all these narratives as metaphors to create work that aims to relate and respond to the anxiety of South African citizens and offer alternative solutions to issues of class, power and inequality.