Kapwani Kiwanga
Cinga Samson: Ukhe Nje Wasondela, Ndakuphosa Kulo Mlambo

Gallery 1

13 December 2023 – 1 September 2024


Lord Forgive me for my sins cause here I come III

Opening 13 December 2023 and running until 1 September 2024, an exhibition of works by the Cape Town based artist Cinga Samson focuses on a selection of twenty works that highlights the painter’s mastery of the medium, with a presentation of works produced from 2015 to 2023. Titled Ukhe Nje Wasondela, Ndakuphosa Kulo Mlambo in the artist’s native isiXhosa, the exhibition’s title translates to “If you come close, I will throw you into the river,” serving as an invitation by way of a taunt and a light goading to step into Samson’s painterly world. 

The paintings focus on still lives, portraiture and large-scale landscape paintings painted in a visual vernacular unique to Samson. Scenes of ritual and questions of spirituality are swathed within questions about life and the self, his paintings serve as vessels to channel the answers to existential questions about one’s place in the world.

Dominated by deceptively conventional motifs of landscape painting and everyday elements of life in South Africa including flora, fauna, and the views of mountain landscapes in the background, his large-scale landscapes hint at the spiritual and ceremony-like activities that dominate his cultural and social landscape. Together with indigenous bird of paradise and red canna flowers, oftentimes interlaced in the hands of Samson’s subjects, these innocuous motifs thought to be lifted from classical notions of painting and composition of still lives are, through their inclusion and placement in his work, given new meaning by Samson.

Although a painter by training, Samson’s experience and study of photography heavily influences his compositional style, and his paintings are focused examinations of figures and landscapes in a precise, autographic manner. Ukhe Nje Wasondela, Ndakuphosa Kulo Mlambo invites viewers to reflect on questions of being and seeing, and the mastery of the medium by the painter.

Into Entle Cinga Samson