My Name is Hage GN Mukwendje. I was born 25 years ago in the Northern part of Namibia in the Village Onandjaba, Okalongo Kahaudano. My work attempts to bridge the gap between my upbringing as a rural boy and my life now as a young man in the city ghetto. I am inspired by my surroundings and the everyday life of the people around me. What people do, how they react and how they live. I juxtapose this with objects from different areas of life to evoke my different experiences.
I started doing art at a very young age. It is a natural talent bonded within me. I do my art with a lot of respect and determination. My creativity comes from my heart, not from my peers who are also involved in making arts. I always try to do art according to my own thoughts and style, without referring to some one else’s artwork. I use medium such as pencil, charcoal, pastels, painting, collage and mixed media.
It was not easy growing up in a small village where people took art as a hobby and it is not a possible career. Coming from a subsistence farming community we had to herd goats and cattle after school. I would always take a pencil and paper with me in order to draw portraits of my friends for a minimal fee or sometimes for free. Coming from a village with no electricity source, I could only do arts during the day or at school.
Art has had (and does have) a huge impact on society. Art has the ability to shape our society, by reflecting on it, or criticizing it. People make art to express themselves, whether it be their thoughts or emotions and this expression can be communicated powerfully to others. Look at the major art movements in history and the artists behind them, like Picasso for example. He changed our world through the creation of Cubism and introduced a new age of art. He challenged the traditional conventions of art at the time and arguably opened up a whole new path to freedom for artists. Yes, art can make a huge statement, it can change or challenge a society’s perception of things, and that is the impact I want my art to have on society too.
2008: Rakatuka Festival JMAC Art Gallery, Annual Student Exhibition JMAC Art Gallery
2009: Rakatuka Festival JMAC Art Gallery, Street Art Group Exhibition Omba Gallery, Annual Student Exhibition JMAC Art Gallery
2010: Annual Student Exhibition JMAC Art Gallery
2011: New Beginning Exhibition Omba Art Gallery
2012: World Event Young Artists (WEYA), Nottingham, England
2012: Group Exhibition Helsinki, Finland
2013: New Beginning Exhibition Omba Art Gallery, Gender Based Violance (GBV) National Art Gallery
2014: New Beginning Exhibition Omba Art Gallery, Bank Windhoek Triennale National Art Gallery
2015: B2 Gold “Mine Make A Change” National Art Gallery.