Born in Zimbabwe, Kudzanai Chiurai currently lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Chiurai is a multi-disciplinary contemporary artist working in photography, drawings, film, painting, and sculpture. His artistic footprint has also stretched into the mediums of poetry, fashion, activism, publishing, and music, making him a cultural activist.
Much of Chiurai’s work has been informed by his personal interaction with the changes in Southern African politics, economics, and social interactions. His imagery reflects on the dynamics at play between history, contemporary culture, displacement, the psychological experience of urban spaces, power, war and the Western imprint on Africa.
Chiurai was born one year after Zimbabwe gained independence from the UK. In response to the political climate within Zimbabwe in 2008, Chiurai created a series of murals and posters criticising the Zimbabwean government and was threatened with arrest. As a result, Chiurai chose to live in exile in South Africa, where he attended the University of Pretoria, graduating as the first black student to receive a BA Fine Art from the university.
Chiurai has exhibited extensively since 2003 in both Africa and abroad. Solo and group exhibitions include Graceland at Obert Contemporary (Johannesburg, South Africa: 2007); Iyeza at the RISD Museum (Rhode Island, USA: 2015); Selections from Revelations at MoCADA (New York, USA: 2015); REVELAÇÕES at Kulungwana Gallery (Maputo, Mozambique: 2015) and Defining the State of the Nation at the Zeitz MOCAA Pavillion (Cape Town, South Africa: 2014-2015).
His works have also been highlighted at significant festivals and exhibitions such as the Conflict Resolution series, which was part of dOCUMENTA (13) (Kassel, Germany: 2012). In 2013, his film Iyeza was included in the New Frontiers programme at the Sundance Film Festival.
In 2005, Chiurai was listed as Mail & Guardian‘s Top 100 Dazzlers and Doers in South Africa, and in 2011 he was again listed as Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans. In 2012 he was presented with the FNB Joburg Art Prize, and in 2014 he was shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize in Venice, selected amongst 21 other artists from the globe.