Project Description

Chikonzero (Chiko) Chazunguza is a Zimbabwean visual artist and provocateur, whose multimedia artworks raise searching questions about the postcolonial condition and about the unstable role and nature of art in its postcolonial context.

In 1987, Chiko won a scholarship to study at the Institute of Pictorial Arts in Sofia Bulgaria, where he earned his MFA and was trained in the classical modes of printmaking, drawing and painting, later turning to memories of indigenous Zimbabwean art as a source of inspiration for experiment.

Returning home in 1994, Chiko deliberately set out to re-connect with local modes of fabrication and visuality, exploring their areas of aesthetic overlap with Western traditions to produce new visual forms and new kinds of visual knowledge. Techniques in shrine construction, ritual behavioral codes governing the safety of forest hunters, skills in parsing the oblique signs and messages of the ancestors, and the intricate conventions of rural ornamentation are amongst those elements of indigenous aesthetic life with which Chiko has reshaped ideas about parameters of art.

Investigating indigenous knowledge systems and probing forgotten (pre)colonial histories for clues that might illumine our way forward in a complex world, Chiko’s works exist as models for individual thought and action that are sensitive to the needs of the collective. Amongst his most compelling works are those that reinstate for the viewer a sense of ritual order and of life’s deeper mysteries, alongside proffering incisive, yet subtle social analysis.

Chiko was born and raised in the high density suburb of Highfield, in Harare, Zimbabwe. He is the recipient of numerous awards and has exhibited in solo shows in Zimbabwe, Canada, and the U.S.A.

Year Exhibition