Finding the answers in experimentation
with gallery LAB
Over the last two weeks, we have introduced you to exhibitors who will be showing in the gallery HUB pavilion of the upcoming edition of FNB Art Joburg. Central to the fair, gallery HUB is where established galleries from across the continent showcase the best in contemporary African art. Adjacent to gallery HUB, and looking to the future of contemporary art, is the gallery LAB section. An incubation to develop emerging galleries and hybrid art spaces, gallery LAB was established to present and test new ideas and business models initiated to transform the contemporary African art landscape. Co-curated by Kim Kandan (Gallery Liaison, FNB Art Joburg) and Aida Esi Hayfron-Benjamin (independent curator, Ghana), gallery LAB will bring South, West and East Africa together for an intra-continental exchange.
Making her international fair debut at the 2022 edition of FNB Art Joburg, Wunika Mukan, the founding director of Nigeria-based Wunika Mukan Gallery described it as a historical moment. “It was the best learning experience myself and my team could’ve asked for,” she said. “A globally renowned fair within Africa, it also gave us a sense of pride in seeing how far the industry had grown since the days I started out.”For the 2023 edition, featured gallery LAB exhibitors include 16/16, CHURCH, Ebony Curated, Galerie Annie Kadji, Guns & Rain, Modzi Arts, Ora Loapi, ODA Art, Reservoir Projects, Untitled, VILLAGE UNHU and Wunika Mukan Gallery. This week we introduce you to 16/16, CHURCH, Ebony Curated, Galerie Annie Kadji, Guns & Rain and Modzi Arts.
16/16 is a hotel, private gathering space and creative incubator for “Friends of 16” located in a nondescript building in the heart of Victoria Island, Lagos. Throughout our 7+ year history, we have invited our many friends to activate the space as a centre for information exchange and learning by running programs that fit within and intersect with, the practices of other Friends. This has allowed us to present a new prototype that provides shelter while also orienting our community and ourselves to the greater perspectives that our city offers.
Director: Tushar Hathiramani
CHURCH is an unconventional art space of diminutive proportions situated in the Cape Town CBD. Based in a Heritage Building with its interior reimagined, it forms part of the vibrant Church Street inner-city Art node.CHURCH is focused on experimentation, innovation and exploration within the Arts. It provides a platform for art interventions with emphasis on process and outcomes.
Director: Hoosein Mahomed
Established in 2007, EBONY/CURATED is a leading South African Gallery based in Cape Town and Franschhoek. The gallery has built a solid reputation for unlocking exciting talent from the continent and the greater African Diaspora. It’s well established public programme extends across 3 spaces highlighting both contemporary and notable modern artworks. EBONY/CURATED regularly participates in local and international art fairs and gallery artists are included in recognised public and private collections.
Directors: Marc Stanes, Dewald Prinsloo, Leonard de Villiers
Galerie Annie Kadji
Galerie Annie Kadji, which launched in 2004, now stands today as a tribute and celebration to its founder Annie Kadji. Today the AKA gallery’s goal is to shine a light on the most exciting, talented and culturally relevant artists of our time, starting within the African continent. Sten and the AKA team work directly with a curated roster of emerging, mid-career and established artists, exhibiting and championing their work across multiple platforms and markets.
Director: Sten Kadji
Guns & Rain
Guns & Rain is a Johannesburg-based gallery with a local and international programme of exhibitions, art fairs and collaborations.The gallery was established in 2014 as an online-only initiative, with the intention of addressing the under-representation of African art globally. Today, the gallery works with over 20 emerging artists from six African countries.
Director: Dr Julie Taylor
Modzi Arts works with artists, for a period of three months to a year, while they are in the process of experiment building towards exhibition within Lusaka. We support artists through a process of research and concept development with a huge focus on Zambian art history and culture.
Director: Taonga Julia Kaunda-Kaseka