Advancing art as a tool to fight xenophobia


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The Ichikowitz Heritage Art Collection Travels to Constitution Hill. Experience exhibit from 29 October to 15 November, entrance free of charge.

Following the successful launch of the Ichikowitz Heritage Art Collection in Alexandra during Johannesburg Art Week, The Ichikowitz Family Foundation now brings Art Crosses Borders – Conversations from Alexandra to the renowned Constitution Hill. This exhibition features new, unseen pieces not yet revealed to the public and travels to its new home at The Old Fort, Constitution Hill Precinct for audiences to experience from 29 October to 15 November 2015, entrance free of charge.

Born out of The Ichikowitz Family Foundation‘s African Oral History Archive, over 130 artists are featured in its Heritage Art Collection. A collection that captures the mood and emotions of an era from the 1970’s to present day, reflecting the complexities of South Africa’s transformation. For the launch of the Heritage Art Collection, themes explored include xenophobia, economic survival, and portraits of Africa. The launch in Alexandra was in partnership with art entrepreneur Vika Mjoka, himself a victim of xenophobia, who joined forces to create Art Crosses Borders-Conversations.

The exhibition promotes art as a tool to fight xenophobia with contrasting mixed-media works depicting scenes from violent struggles in townships, to visceral African masks and harrowing effigies that provoke questions around identity and representations of “the other”. The progression of this exhibition to Constitution Hill further explores what causes xenophobia and strengthens its interrogation of the nuances of borders, seeking where they lie between countries, places, peoples, private and public, real and imagined, then and now.

In line with Constitution Hill’s vision to develop programmes promoting South African heritage, The Ichikowitz Family Foundation offers enriching ways to access and engage with history as the exhibition embarks on an extended high school programme with workshops facilitated by artists from the exhibition at Constitution Hill.

To help advance Constitution Hill’s efforts to rejuvenate inner-city Joburg, The Ichikowitz Family Foundation, hopes to encourage inner-city residents, business people, students, youth and artists to immerse themselves in an uplifting creative programme of workshops to energize citizens with art as the impetus for dialogue, education and nation building.

The engine of this innovative initiative and founder of The Ichikowitz Family Foundation, Ivor Ichikowitz, remarks on the development of the collection:

“Through our Foundation’s Heritage Art Collection, we drive art innovation and create environments to engage with South Africa’s creative heritage. For those of you who missed the successful Exhibition in Alexandra, where we gave a voice to young artists crafting the story of our modern heritage, we encourage all to visit Constitution Hill, the historic symbol of our democracy. We hope this travelling exhibition inspires our collective imagination, and provokes creative practices to solving the challenges of today.”

Constitution Hill Acting CEO Mr Themba Ntuli comments on the significance of the exhibition:

“We are delighted to host this thought-provoking exhibition from Alexandra, crossing many borders to come to Constitution Hill. This exhibit brings the dynamic talent from Alex to the inner-city and offers us a glimpse into our shared past and future. These are lessons for what we can do to take that future into our own hands and shape it in the image of the Freedom Charter and our Constitution.”

The Ichikowitz Family Foundation’s Heritage Art Collection is one of the largest collections of its kind with paintings by South African and African artists spanning over four decades. Over the coming years, a series of exhibitions will showcase this varied and rich collection, including artworks to be seen for the first time. By encouraging and resourcing the preservation of cultural treasures, the Foundation serves as a custodian of cultural inheritance for the nation and future generations.

Old Fort, Constitution Hill Precinct


WHEN: Launch: 29 October at 6pm
FREE to Public and schools: 30 October to 15 November

WHERE: Old Fort, Constitution Hill Precinct
Joubert St, Braamfontein, Johannesburg
ENTRANCE: Free of charge
ARTISTS: David Koloane, Nathaniel (Nat) Mokgosi, Winston Saoli, Moses Masoko, Ndabuko Ntuli, David Chinyama, Junior Fungai, Cassius Khumalo, Sicelo Khumalo, Billy Molokeng, Sicelo Khumalo, Thomas Maswangele, Billy Lengwati, Batsarai Muskwe, Brian Kadzinga, Prince Matsika, Daniel Moatshe, Daniel Matshidiso, Mike Khali, Berthold Moyo and Vika Mjoka
@ichikowitz IchikowitzHeritageArt Ichikowitz Family Foundation

About the Ichikowitz Family Foundation

Ivor Ichikowitz, well known as an industrialist and philanthropist with a passion for Africa, founded The Ichikowitz Family Foundation in 2010. His philanthropic work is based on intelligent giving, innovation, and capacity building. The Foundation carries forward a long tradition of innovation, entrepreneurship, and community engagement to develop people through educational, environmental, and cultural activities. The flagship pillar, the African Oral History Archive, promotes a new understanding of African modern history and uses various channels, such as film, music, and art to foster dialogue between people and their heritage. Its Heritage Art Collection is a ‘storyboard’ of modern Southern Africa and includes renowned African artists. By sharing this Collection with the nation, The Foundation also provides an ‘art time capsule” of our transformation for future generations.


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