Atang Tshikare, also known as ZABALAZAA fills us in on some of his plans for 2014…
How did you get involved in art and design? Mogorosi Motshumi, my dad, is a cartoonist, illustrator and from time to time a photographer, so growing up with a mentor like that meant it was only a matter of time before I realised that I am a creative. With the design side I can say being a surface designer was not a term that existed in my head when I was growing up, I just had the knack for seeing objects in a different light and changing their form or appearance. Making objects seriously began in 2013 when I played around with wood and made a three finger ring. At the airport they tried to confiscate it and I’d joke and say ‘I’m emulating the president with his wives’. But even then the ring was a design solution for me. It had the word
ZABALAZAA laser-engraved on top so when people took pictures or interviewed me they would get a glimpse of the bling and make the connection with the artist.
What do you most enjoy working on? Paper is the primary base where my thoughts are planted, like most old school designers. Once I’m happy with the thought on paper then the rest is bliss. Other surfaces that have more dimensions are just as enjoyable, but are more tricky because of the angles. The best thing I did for myself is to do a lot of R&D on all sorts of elements. I still want to work on a super car though…
Do you have any influences or inspirations? I enjoy the work of Afrikaans artists and designers like Conrad Botes and Lionel Smit. Being deprived of visual stimulation gets me creative, like how a graffiti artist looks at a white wall and envisions his masterpiece. I also love working with people that are using other mediums likeAndile Dyalvane, Porky Hefer, Laduma Ngxokolo and Cameron Barnes. Each new material I work with has different texture and look so it creates a whole new way of thinking. This is what I love!
Have you seen anything great happening around Cape Town with regards to World Design Capital 2014? The best I have seen so far was the Guild Design Fair which was at the V&A. I had some works there too, so that’s a plus. There was a wide array of collectable design pieces from SA, Africa, Europe and North and South America. These included Rossana Orlandi, Nacho Carbonell, Design Network Africa, Southern Guild, Colectivo Amor De Madre and V&A Museum & British Council. I had a sneaker customising workshop with Heath Nash and Porky Hefer in the Maker Library. My favourites were the Haas Brothers because they were young, but bold in their works. Let’s see if any event will top that.
Where have you exhibited? I have exhibited in many places as part of group shows. The bigger exhibitions included Everard Read in Johannesburg, Museum Of African Design (MOAD), Bronze Age, Bremerhaven in Germany, Design Days Dubai and recently in New York, but nothing yet with WDC. My first exhibition with WDC will be with 100% Design in Joburg in August.
Do you have any plans for the rest of the year? There’s a lot happening during the year. I plan to work with people like Andile Dyalvane and Porky Hefer. Nothing is set in stone but things are looking good. So far the places that are on the big hit list include another exhibition in the USA, one in Paris, one at MOAD and the last will be together at Worldart Gallery and The Black Box Gallery in Cape Town during December. These all require meticulous planning and consistent hard work.
Where can we get hold of and view your work? People can get my products at South African Market (SAM) at 107 Bree Street in Cape Town, illustrations at Stable (65 Loop Street) and paintings at Worldart Gallery at 54 Church Street. People can also get hold of me via Facebook. I have some work in Johannesburg at Assemblage Studios with Isaac Zavale in Newtown and I’m looking for more spaces to put up work soon.
For more information about Atang Tshikare’s work, visit facebook.com/atang.tshikare.