Mlango Wa Navushiku (Navushiku’s Lineage), A solo Exhibition by Rehema Chachage

Circle Art Gallery, 30 March – 18 April 2017

It was at the Circle Art Gallery booth in the Tomorrow’s and Today section at the 2016 Cape Town Art Fair that I had my first time encounter with Rehema Chachage’s work. The familiar image of a woman wrapping a khanga around her waist drew me into the booth. There, on one wall hung a series of photographs of a woman dressed in black standing in front of black drop with a blue khanga, wrapping it around her waist in each frame. In those images I saw myself. I saw my sister, my mother, my aunt and my grandmother. I saw home. On the opposite wall was a video screening of a woman in a red skirt spinning continuously across a wooden floor.

The booth was a solo presentation of Rehema Chachage’s two works Mshanga/Orupa Mchikirwa and Untitled (Whirl), which she had produced during a residency in Japan. This was the first time I was seeing works by a fellow Tanzanian artist at an international art fair. For the next three days that I would work at the art fair, I would pass by the booth and couldn’t help but feel excited, proud and optimistic about the future of the Tanzanian art scene. One could easily confuse this for feeling patriotic. Rehema’s work was reassurance that there was a small existing art scene in Tanzania.

Extract from text by Asteria Malinzi (curator)
The telling of (Her)story
The works of Rehema Chachage (2012 – 2017)

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