Phillemon Hlungwani is recognised as one of the most accomplished contemporary artists working in South Africa. He is best known for his large-scale charcoal drawings depicting scenes from rural life, informal settlements and African dancing women. #phillemonhlungwani phillemonhlungwani philemon hlungwani
Phillemon Hlungwani grew up in a close-knit community near Giyani in rural Limpopo Province. His work is influenced by this and expresses a deep sense of the community and traditional values which is reinforced by giving his work titles of proverbs in his mother tongue, xiTsonga. He suggests that people who live in the simplest places with few possessions can still lead good, dignified lives and remain happy. They may have places to go and things to do, but they know who they are – where they have come from and where they are going. This is to be celebrated.
After completing his schooling in Limpopo, Hlungwani studied at the Johannesburg Art Foundation before studying printmaking at the Artist Proof Studio, Johannesburg. His awards include winning the King Korn competition (2000 and 2001) and the SABC Radio Station Munghana Lonene FM Log Design Award (2003). He was also one of the finalists for the Absa Gallery competition in 2001, 2002 and 2009. In 2001 he attended a teacher’s training course in Art at the WITS School of Art and has facilitated numerous workshops nationally and the USA. In 2009 Hlungwani was awarded the prestigious Ampersand Foundation Fellowship to an extensive study tour of printmaking studios in the United States.