“Throughout history, mankind has always battled with ideas of identity and purpose. This constant search has resulted in revolutions that have marked the end of eras and give rise to new futures. Change is inevitable.”
Tafadzwa Gwetai is a Zimbabwean visual artist, painter, sculptor, and curator who works in oil paint, mixed media, and found objects.
He holds a BTech; Creative Art & Design (Hons) Degree from the University of Chihnoyi, Zimbabwe.
Gwetai explores the human condition and how mankind has redefined themselves and their basic existence. Fundamentally grounded in existentialist philosophy, addressing both his African roots and western knowledge, Gwetai accounts western thinkers such as Socrates, Plato and Rene Descartes who challenged the meaning of authority and questioned how and why mankind exists, alongside African ideals of Ubuntu/ Unhu and African scholars and cultural thinkers such as Franz Fanon.
Gwetai has a constant play with the idea of the traditional and modern identity versus an untapped spiritual realm. The notion of spiritualism being deeply entrenched in the African experience and his awareness of the impact of colonisation and the transatlantic enslavement to the social and cultural landscape of our society today.
Gwetai has been actively involved in art since 2001 and has participated in various local and international exhibitions in Australia, Germany, and South Africa. Most recently in 2015, Tafadzwa has worked as Assistant Curator to Raphael Chikukwa in the Zimbabwe Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, remaining in the city and working daily at the exhibition, entitled ‘Pixels of Ubuntu/Unhu; Exploring The Social And Cultural Identities Of The 21st Century’, engaging with visitors from all over the globe and blogging about his experiences with them and the artwork on display.