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Kemang Wa Lehulere has won the first International Tiberius Art Award Dresden, honouring an outstanding contemporary artist from outside Europe.

In cooperation with FORUM TIBERIUS, the international forum for culture and industry, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD) is to present the International Tiberius Art Award Dresden for the first time.
kemang pic
Kemang Wa Lehulere. Image from creativeafricanetwork.com
Worth 20,000 euros, the award was launched in 2013 as a tribute to outstanding contemporary artists from outside Europe. The first winner will be the South African artist Kemang Wa Lehulere, whose works were recently displayed in the exhibition “My Joburg. The Johannesburg art scene” at Kunsthalle Lipsiusbau in Dresden. The award consists of the purchase of one work and funding. Kemang Wa Lehulere is invited to create a work of art for the SKD. For this purpose the artist will be present in Dresden in June 2014.
remembering future1
Kemang Wa Lehulere, Remembering the Future of a hole as a Verb 2.1, 2012.
White chalk on black paint, 273 x 1570cm. © Copyright 2012, STEVENSON. All rights reserved.
Hartwig Fischer, Director General of Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden: “In presenting the award to Kemang Wa Lehulere we are honouring a highly versatile artist whose works have marked contemporary art. His texts, drawings and performances inspire one another and are closely interwoven. At the same time, his over-sized wall drawings represent the performative art of drawing, vanishing as they do at the end of the exhibition.”
Kemang Wa Lehulere was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1984 and studied art at the University of the Witwatersrand. His works include drawings, video art, performance art and sculptural installations.
His collage-like works pave the way for new stories with a variety of interpretations, and can at the same time be seen as an archive illustrating the process of remembering and forgetting. Wa Lehulere’s work has been exhibited around the world and earned numerous prizes, most recently the Tollman Award for the Visual Arts (2012) and the Baloise Art Prize (2013). The artist lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Kemang Wa Lehulere, Untitled Thirteen, 2012.
Ink on paper, 41 x 31cm. © Copyright 2012, STEVENSON. All rights reserved.
In the words of Jürgen Mülder, executive spokesman for FORUM TIBERIUS, the international forum for culture and industry: “By inaugurating this award, FORUM TIBERIUS aims to provide a new means of acknowledging contemporary art, while at the same time drawing attention to Dresden’s openness to global trends, as a city of culture. Knowing that culture is a key basis for city life, we want to spark a discourse between culture and society. Kemang Wa Lehulere constantly reprises this dialogue. His works link the trauma and myths of South Africa’s past with today’s social issues. In doing so he has had a lasting influence, not only on his own generation.”
Through this dynamic discourse, the International Tiberius Art Award Dresden hopes to generate a new awareness of how we deal with art and culture. It is aimed at young artists whose works address topics related to global developments and their social and cultural effects. The goal is to create a joint platform for the international promotion of outstanding artists, and a worldwide network to support them early in their career.
This is a principle to which Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden has always felt bound. When the Kunstkammer (Chamber of Art) was founded in 1560, it already displayed a particular interest in contemporary masterpieces from a wide range of cultures, meeting the highest standards in terms of craftwork and technology. The collectors’ focus was always on distant countries and continents in an attempt to reveal the universal connection between everything on Earth, offering viewers a comprehensive world view.
Members of the International Tiberius Art Award Dresden 2013 panel:
Hartwig Fischer, Director General of Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Ulrich Bischoff, former director of the SKD’s Galerie Neue Meister
Jürgen B. Mülder, executive spokesman for FORUM TIBERIUS
Moritz Freiherr von Crailsheim
Klaus F. K. Schmidt
Text from SKD

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