Pink is a color rarely found in nature… in a fictionalized natural space, [it] awakens and politely shocks the viewer into attention.
Simphiwe Ndzube constructs imaginary universes that address issues of identity and history, power and political struggle, and globalization and freedom. He draws from the twin realities of racial segregation and political unrest—ongoing consequences of colonialism in South Africa—that have affected his people since the 1940s.
Oracles of the Pink Universe is an expansion of the mythological world Ndzube has been developing since early in his career. He was inspired by Hieronymus Bosch's painting The Garden of Earthly Delights (1490–1500), which depicts the creation of the world and the fall of humanity with imaginary characters in a fantastical landscape. In Ndzube’s universe, heaven, earth, and hell intersect in a narrative with no beginning or end.
The Pink Universe is a paradise permeated with the potential for conflict. To Ndzube, pink represents this anticipation and suspense. “When you cut the body open, there is an instant of pink flesh before the wound floods with blood and before it rebuilds itself.” The characters in the Pink Universe inhabit this imagined moment of tension and inspire hope through their resilience.
Simphiwe Ndzube (b. 1990) is a South African artist from the Eastern Cape. Ndzube, now based in Los Angeles, explores the interplay between the real and the magical. His work addresses sociohistorical themes within Black post-apartheid South Africa and stitches together personal accounts and historical memories to give life to his creations.
The title of this painting is The Bloom of the Corpse Flower. Mixed media on canvas; 2020. 95 inches wide by 79 inches in height.
We stand in front of a celebration of pink — a pink sun, copper clouds with pink highlights, and four gigantic pink flowers rooted in pink soil. Corpse flowers are the tallest on planet Earth, and that scale is reflected here as they dominate this painting, lifting to the sky from the immediate foreground. One flower stands on the left, with three flowers on the right.
In the center of each flower is a bubblegum-pink, high-rising tower sprouting out of a massive, cup-shaped skirt. The tower is called a spadix, commanding your attention and positively screaming, “PINK! PINK!” Each flower’s skirt resembles a fringed tulip with finely incised, colorful fringing on the top edges of the petals.
The corpse flower on the left has a pear-yellow colored skirt flowing into deep magenta veining toward the top and bottom. Some of the fringes curl gracefully down from the tips and around the spadix. The flowers on the right are clustered together to look like they share a chartreuse skirt emboldened with crimson fringes that adhere closely to each spadix, and red streaking down the petals.
Giant flowers need a lot of water, and these are fed by a river flowing down between green mountains and bright orange hillsides. A man in a wooden boat floats down the river, his pink eyes gazing directly at us. He is framed by the corpse flowers. Crouching in the back of the boat with his knees up, he holds a shovel. Unlike in many of the other artworks, this figure’s clothes are painted on, not collaged. He appears to wear blue jeans, a bright red-and-green patterned shirt, and a gray floppy sun hat. His nose is missing.
Behind him, two silver corrugated steel buildings appear to float in a deep-blue lake which feeds into the river. Above him a multi-hued sky is heavy with dark golden clouds dripping brown rain. High in the sky overlooking the scene is a giant orange and pink eye. The eye streams pink to the clouds above and below it.
In Oracles of the Pink Universe, creatures are so different from what we see on planet Earth. Humans and animals combine to create hybrids, and gender is often very fluid. We can’t always tell if a humanoid is male, female, both, or neither. The artist uses this ambiguity to take us beyond the norm. For this reason, descriptions rarely use pronouns like ‘he’ or ‘she.’ In the case of The Bloom of the Corpse Flower, the artist specifically identifies the individual in the painting as male, and in fact says that in a lot of ways the man represents him, the painter.
Meanwhile on Earth, corpse flowers are listed as an endangered species, with fewer than one thousand remaining in the wild. The main reason for the decline is human encroachment: logging and the conversion of the plant's native forest habitat to farming. Intensive cultivation methods result in soil pollution, erosion and water contamination. Many vast oil palm plantations have displaced tropical forests across Asia, Latin America and West Africa.
The Bloom of the Corpse Flower
Mixed media on canvas
Denver Art Museum: Funds from the Contemporary Collectors' Circle
Although the Oracles of the Pink Universe is a nonlinear narrative, Ndzube used this painting as a point of departure. The figure on the boat is embarking on a journey, perhaps in search of freedom. The land is fertile—notice the oversize corpse flowers, abundant water, lush terrain, and clouds dripping with heavenly rain. Everything is active, suggesting a moment of hope.
The title of this sculpture is Bhekizwe Riding through the Garden of Earthly Delights. Polyurethane resin, found spade, welded steel, found clothing and cloth, wood, acrylic paint, silicone, spray paint, foam coat, and acrylic eyes; 2020. 105 inches wide, 39 inches in depth, and 129 inches in height.
Occupying the central space of the gallery is a life-sized sculpture of a man riding a crocodile. The man sits erect with his shoulders pulled back, his broad, deep-set eyes staring purposefully ahead. His substantial nose juts straight out and then slopes nearly straight down. Under it is a voluminous bright-turquoise mustache extending down past the lips and chin and curling slightly out at the ends. He has an elevated forehead with a receding hairline, but his hair rises tall and thick, curling down behind his ear.
Walking behind him reveals that the front of his head is a facade hiding an open, concave skull in the back. The skull is empty except for a tongue sticking out and brandishing sharp, pointy shark teeth.
The man wears several layers of clothing, including a buttoned-up, light-blue dress shirt and tan, cuffed dress slacks. Draped from his left shoulder is an olive trench coat trimmed with a swath of light-green damask fabric, and hanging from his right side is a saggy stretch of tan, gathered material. Suspended below his waist on his left side is a neon orange safety vest, and underneath is a black pouch with various pockets. His right arm is draped with a long shawl made of striped feathers.
He rides the thick-skinned, long bodied crocodile as if enthroned. Human-like fingers extend out of the croc’s webbed claws and hind feet. Its gray skin is gloppy and coagulated. A mobile similar to a wind chime hangs below the belly of the crocodile at the end of which is a large, silver bell or metal lampshade. At the tail of the croc a medium-sized blue gazing ball sits atop a metal pole pierced into the thick skin.
Impaled through the mouth and jaw of the reptile is a long magenta-pink stick. A severed hand clutches the front end of the stick.
Once again our artist references the painting The Garden of Earthly Delights, by Hieronymus Bosch. That artwork also has hidden meanings, symbolism, and subverted, hellish scenarios. Depicting Bhekizwe this way reveals him as an antagonist in this realm.
Bhekizwe is a South African name meaning “looking after the world.” But this man is the rogue of the Pink Universe, so who is he really looking after? He has tortured and tamed a beast which typically has an unflattering personality, a short temper and an aggressive attitude. What does this say about the man riding it?
Bhekizwe Riding through the Garden of Earthly Delights
Polyurethane resin, found spade, welded steel, found clothing and cloth, wood, acrylic paint, silicone, spray paint, foam coat, and acrylic eyes
Bhekizwe, a popular South African name within Bantu languages meaning “looking after the world,” is the antagonist of Ndzube’s universes. He travels between realms, domesticating the land and colonizing its resources. He rides a crocodile, a guardian of the water. The crocodile is upside down, however, alluding to the chaos that Bhekizwe creates. His face might look harmless, but on the back of his head, Bhekizwe’s true nature is revealed as a greedy mouth filled with shark teeth.
The title of this painting is Dondolo, the Witch Doctor's Assistant. Mixed media on canvas; 2020. 120 inches wide by 86 inches in height.
This painting is striking for its display of effusive color. In the background are rolling hills of spring green, snow-capped granite mountain peaks and cobalt-blue foothills. The sky has shades of light, medium and deeper blue marked by occasional green clouds. A bird soars through the sky.
Pink earth borders the bottom of the painting and clashes with bright orange and red flames, leading to a dark-crimson path that angles upward to the left, skirting the edge of an inky lake. On the bottom right corner is a crater filled with turquoise water. Out of it grows a giant, lush bird of paradise.
Dominating the foreground, a hoofed man pushes an old, gray wheelbarrow toward the left. The wheelbarrow’s bicycle tire is a found object which juts off the side of the canvas, resting on the ground below. The pushcart is filled with aqua-blue water and in the middle is a large, ocean-blue orb that represents a precious stone. Protruding from the orb are several large spikes. These are about the length of a human arm and have the spiraling texture of a screw. Rising from the top of the orb are four white pipes with tangled, ascending blue veins. At the top, some of the pipes show organic-shaped pink towers, turrets and onion domes.
Dondolo, the blue-haired man pushing the wheelbarrow, is part human, part animal. He wears a collaged blue work shirt with gold cushioned epaulets on his left shoulder. The shirt is stitched and tucked into khaki pants collaged onto the surface of the painting and draping to the ground below, revealing his cloven hooves. His body and chocolate-brown and pink face turn slightly to the left, away from the wheelbarrow, his eyes gazing past us, into the distance.
Hints of civilization show up behind Dondolo. A square gray house sits on a hill above the lake with a cloud of dark gray smoke spilling into the sky. Behind him on the right is a long fence line of wooden siding topped with green wrought iron trim and finials.
The artist continues to expand on his use of collage in Dondolo, the Witch Doctor's Assistant. All the clothing, the head and eyes of Dondolo, and the bird soaring through the sky are examples of collage.
Ndzube sometimes references artworks of old masters in his paintings. The image of a blue gem in a wheelbarrow is directly inspired by The Garden of Earthly Delights, painted by the Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch from 1490–1500. Bosch’s use of symbolism was also a huge influence on surrealistic painters in the early-to-mid 20th century.
Likewise, when he was painting Assertion of Will, Ndzube was influenced by Adam, Eve and the Serpent, a section of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel fresco. The great Renaissance master portrayed the serpent as female from the waist up.
Dondolo, the Witch Doctor's Assistant
Mixed media on canvas
I want to explore the complications of control, of power, of colonizing spaces, colonizing the natural resources of this land.
Dondolo is a flamboyant character, part human and part animal. He carries a precious stone in a wheelbarrow, a reference to diamond mining and land exploitation in South Africa. Water and fire clash between Dondolo and the idyllic landscape of the background. Standing on his hooves, Dondolo is caught between paradise and hell, the rural and the industrial, oscillating between joy and desolation.
The title of this painting is Assertion of Will. Mixed media on canvas; 2020. 124 inches wide by 79 inches in height.
We are in a Garden-of-Eden-like setting and we’re drawn into the center of this painting where a half-naked individual turns toward us from atop a tree. Why half-naked? Because the top half of this creature looks somewhat human, with light caramel-colored skin and wearing a broad blue and green striped straw hat, but no shirt. The creature's bottom half, however, is a golden-brown speckled serpent, twisting up and around the leafless green tree. Large brown eyes stare out into the distance with the left eye appearing to be upside-down. The face is missing a nose.
Here in the Pink Universe, the creature is a hybrid human and Majola snake. The artist explains that these hybrid creatures inhabit his magical world and that they are the Oracles of the Pink Universe.
In front of the tree are three life-sized figures with arms raised, hands wide open, showing movement. Are they dancing or debating? All three wear collaged clothing that has been hand-stitched and attached to the painting — buttoned-down striped dress shirts — gray and white, red and white, and navy blue with gray. The figures on the left and in the center wear epaulet adornments made from cushioned peach-colored satin with lace trim. From the middle of the central figure’s epaulet is a streaming arrangement of brown braids of synthetic hair.
The other two wear dark gray and khaki dress pants, while the central figure has on black pants that are tucked into the tops of gray high heeled knee boots. From the knees down, their legs extend beyond the painting’s edge with feet resting on the ground below. The figure on the left has cloven feet, and the one on the right wears mauve colored loafers.
The landscape in this painting is intensely colorful, as are all paintings in the exhibition. On the far left is an enormous pink corpse flower growing from a bed of pink soil. The soil goes along to the right and under the tree before becoming engulfed in bright yellow-green grass. Vivid magenta-pink flowers resembling lotuses are interspersed among the grassy banks of a dark river. The river flows from left to right behind the tree and in front of an adobe building. Behind it are dark-teal ridges and rolling hills striped in white and orange, similar to hills of row crops. The sky is summertime blue but dark, golden clouds are heavy with incoming copper-brown rain.
Simphiwe Ndzube works in Magical Realism, artwork that juxtaposes styles of realism and surrealism with fantastical scenes, storylines, and characters. In Oracles of the Pink Universe he creates an imaginary cosmos, using fable, myth, and symbolism to probe contemporary issues of the impact of colonialism on the people and natural environment of South Africa.
The artist incorporates collage into his work in multiple ways. He takes photos of his own head, eyes and hands, transfers them to canvas, and paints them. Next he cuts them out and adheres them to the artwork. He might alter placement of the cut-outs, positioning an eye upside down, for example, as in this painting.
“Stitching connects what scissors separate,” says an old adage. Ndzube collects second-hand clothing and uses hand-stitching to help attach them to the painting. He likes to use clothing that triggers his memories of time, people and place.
Assertion of Will
Mixed media on canvas
At the center of this lush scene—inspired by the biblical Garden of Eden—a serpentlike creature coils around a tree. In Judeo-Christian and Islamic imagery, this would symbolize evil, but with some clans from Eastern Cape, a snake called “Majola” can signify a welcome visitor, an ancestral incantation coming to pass a message or a protector. The hand gestures of these figures seem to communicate something specific, but we’re left to wonder exactly what. Ndzube collaged images of his own hands onto the humanoids, emphasizing his role as creator of this universe.
The title of this painting is Iqhawe. Mixed media on canvas; 2020. 112 inches wide by 76.5 inches in height.
Rising from the edges of this canvas is a figure of regal bearing mounted on a spectacular creature. The figure, Iqhawe (translated “Hero”), wears a brilliant emerald satin robe with gold sparkling trim around the edges and gilded embroidery on the yoke. Adorning the robe is a long, golden fabric twist braid attached at the right shoulder and dangling past the waist. A navy-blue and white striped sash embellishes the right shoulder, and a white and blue polka dot underskirt peeks out from the bottom of the robe. Iqhawe rides side-saddle and the garment completely covers from shoulders to beyond legs and feet, spilling out over the creature’s left side and bursting off the canvas. With lips pursed, Iqhawe keeps eyes on the road ahead, though they are pointed in different directions.
The creature is a mashup. Its brown and yellow skin is textured like scaly snakeskin. Its main body looks similar to an elephant, with huge back flanks and a proportionate torso easing into a long neck. This shape is like African forest elephants, which are smaller than savannah elephants, but here is where the resemblance ends. The creature’s trunk emerges directly from its body and is almost as long, continually narrowing and morphing into what looks like the bright-pink, long-beaked head of an anteater. Its pink snout is bald and tubular, and one collaged beady eye focuses on the distance. The creature has a few other eyes peeking out from different areas of its body, including one near the trunk where you would typically find an elephant’s eye, and one on its backside. The trunk is so long it needs to be held up by a braided rope attached to the wall to the left of the canvas. The creature navigates via a bicycle tire attached to the leather of its back leg.
The bottom of the painting has a thin layer of pink earth with brick-red hills right behind. Flanking Iqhawe are two large green plants with leaves similar to those on a bird of paradise. Behind Iqhawe and rising up past the red earth are various corrugated steel buildings. In the background are green hills with snow-covered peaks lifting in the distant horizon. Rain is coming, as we see golden clouds heavy with dripping rain filling the turquoise skyscape.
Most of this art piece is dominated by Iqhawe and the creature emerging from beyond the frame of the painting. This is one way collage can be used for dramatic impact. The elegant robe has decorative hand-stitching here and there, crafting gathers in the fabric of the broad skirt. It is hung in a way that creates hills and valleys in the cloth, shapeshifting and evoking effects of shadow and glow.
Collage is used in multiple ways here: Iqhawe and the creature, Iqhawe’s eyes pointing in different directions, the creature’s eyes, the bicycle tire, the corrugated steel buildings painted on canvas, cut out and stapled to the painting.
These three-dimensional values contrast with the painting style shown throughout the exhibit, using flat brush strokes and a colorful palette.
Mixed media on canvas
My works are always in a performative state… [characters] play with their bodies and embrace themselves without stagnation.
Ndzube’s Pink Universe is full of movement, the garments and appendages of his characters erupting from two-dimensional landscapes. Here, Iqhawe—“hero” in the artist’s native language of Xhosa—rides a wheeled creature, headed somewhere beyond the edge of the canvas. The figure’s eyes point in different directions, as do those peeking out from inside the scaly creature, perhaps indicating that the hero’s journey holds uncertainties.
The title of this sculpture is Nguni Landing. Metal, polyurethane resins, epoxy sculpt, wire, padding, acrylic paint, synthetic fabrics and hair, found clothes, thread, and acrylic eyes; 2021. 32 inches wide, 115 inches in depth, and 51 inches in height.
I wish I could fly! I wish I could soar over green hills and valleys, circling around and careening down to a turquoise stream below. Nobody around to tell me what to do.
This bird/human sculpture is based on the mythical impundulu, or lightning bird, from stories the artist was told as a child. In African folklore, the lightning bird creates thunderstorms and lightning by flapping its wings. In this sculpture, its wings are up and about to flap down. Is a storm coming?
The winged creature has the head and legs of a man with the long, scrawny neck and rounded body of a Great Blue Heron. Like the heron, it has a blue-gray back and a gray, black, and white striped underside. Its wings are corrugated showing narrow black and white stripes. The neck is covered with reptilian scales textured in shades of Dijon mustard. It flies with its neck extended, rather than folded in. Between the neck and the head is the white plumage of a snowy egret formed from circlets of alabaster lace collars similar to those worn by women in Elizabethan times.
A roughly sculpted head is somewhat small in proportion to the body. It has curly gray hair, thick blue lips, and a chin covered with a lengthy beard of multiple black braids.
Stretching straight out from the body are the long, lanky legs of a man wearing skinny jeans and black loafers. The jeans are cropped above the ankles and the shoes are covered in big splotches of bright-yellow paint. At least, I hope it’s paint.
Birds are very stylish, and this one is no exception. Its apparel has elements of low/high fashion, including black and white gingham, washed denim, lace and trim. Running stitches in multiple bright colors grace the inside of its black wings, serving to hold them together.
Nguni floats high above the gallery, reaching nearly to the ceiling. Long legs balance its heavy body as it soars through the air, casting dramatic shadows on a mural below.
Metal, polyurethane resins, epoxy sculpt, wire, padding, acrylic paint, synthetic fabrics and hair, found clothes, thread, and acrylic eyes
I’ve been personally in that space of missing home… these flowing figures are my current state, signifying the spiritual flow, missing moving through the world.
This winged figure—part human and part bird—is based on the mythical impundulu, or lightning bird, from stories Ndzube was told as a child. In Xhosa folklore, the impundulu creates thunderstorms and lightning by flapping its wings. It also represents escape and exploration. In this sculpture, Nduzbe uses magic and mythology as a strategy to imagine freedom.
Two paintings are presented together on this wall. The title of the painting on the left is When Grass Meets Fire. Mixed media on canvas; 2020. 60 inches wide by 72 inches in height.
A perfect summer day. A bright blue sky with cumulus clouds. Rolling hills of shamrock green. Distant rivers, lakes, and moody mountains. You can almost smell freshly cut grass and hear the buzzing of bees. But in the Pink Universe, all is not as it seems.
Up close and personal, an imposing, seated erect figure turns toward us, chin slightly raised, with dark eyes piercing ours. The figure has dark skin trimmed with hot pink around the eyes, lips and cheek, as well as where the nose should be.
The individual is sitting sideways on an outdoor porch and in front of an adobe half wall with cerulean-blue trim. On the left the porch is supported by a simple, rounded column of the same blue, extending up and out of our view.
Attached near the bottom of the column is a grayish-green gargoyle facing down. It looks like a koi fish but instead of water flowing from the fountain of its mouth, it spews a neon orange lava-like liquid. This forms a pool on the ground to the left of the porch, meeting emerald-green grass just beyond the patio wall.
Our character wears a collaged soft-pink silk shirt with pink paint splotches and drips and hand-stitched gathers on the front and back. It looks like the shirt is on sideways with a tail seeming to slip into the pool of orange liquid behind. The shirt’s collar droops, hanging down from mid-chest. The right cuff is buttoned around a dark wrist and relaxed hand, and the right arm (made of a sculptural material) dangles off the side to extend outside the painting. Around the shoulders is a shawl of dark gray with lighter gray trim. A hat with a pink crown and blue brim reflects colors in the rest of the painting. An enormous bird of paradise with orange bloom is right next to our friend, one of the lower leaves resting on mid-chest.
On a green hill overlooking the scene are two small white dwellings with rust-colored roofing. A tall, lone tree grows in front. Emerging from high in the hills is a river culminating into a small pond in the middle of the painting.
Gargoyles and other mythical creatures have often illustrated evil, but sometimes they served to protect and ward off unholy influences. During medieval times they also served a practical purpose, serving as decorative waterspouts. What purpose do you think the koi fish gargoyle serves in the Pink Universe?
When Grass Meets Fire
Mixed media on canvas
Two paintings are presented together on this wall. The title of the painting on the right is Whispering Landscape. Mixed media on canvas; 2020. 60 inches wide by 74 inches in height.
What is better than relaxing on a hill after working hard on a hot summer day? Maybe relaxing on a hill in the Pink Universe?
A barefoot figure casually reclines on a rosy hill with a view of a river flowing below and off in the distance. The individual rests against a green, leafless tree and wears a neon green safety vest, cropped jeans, and a collaged blue bucket hat with a pink hatband. The left arm is stretched behind for support, hand resting on the ground, and the left knee is pulled up near the chest with a large foot poised on the earth. The right hand is held up in a gesture with the palm facing us and all fingers extended straight out except for the middle finger, which is bent back. How does one even do that?
Sapphire-blue eyes stare past us with an inscrutable look, lips pressed together, perhaps gazing at a tall pink tropical plant on the neighboring honey-colored hill. The flower looks similar to a bromeliad, but the bloom is more like a prickly thistle.
Peeking out from this nearby hill is a Cheshire cat. Or is it a raccoon? It looks like a mysterious hybrid, with raccoon-like rings around big eyes and cat-like ears.
In the distance, striped blue and orange mountains reach toward the sky.
Right below, a brown, lifeless hill stands out in an otherwise pastoral scene. But closer in are green hills showing the headwaters of a stream which flows and grows into a swirling river. As it reaches the valley below, it runs past a corrugated steel building. Continuing down, the river creates a purple, black and blue lake at the foot of our friend’s hill.
Hanging low in the sky over the distant mountains is a fire-red sun. Clouds are tinged with pink as sunset seems to approach.
In several of the artworks, bodies of water are created with duct tape attached to the paintings. All the duct tape is black with blue and purple speckles. This helps to create a sense of movement.
Have you wondered why so many characters in these artworks are missing noses? We don’t really know for sure, but often the nose symbolically represents power or the lack of it. Have you heard the phrase that something “just doesn’t smell right?” That is intuition speaking. What happens to your intuition, then, when your nose is gone?
Mixed media on canvas
A diversity of characters populates the Pink Universe. Ndzube offers clues to their identities through their clothing and settings. The erect posture and direct stare of the figure on the left indicate authority and wealth, while the neon vest of the figure on the right recalls the attire of parking lot attendants in Cape Town. These figures occupy settings that represent the economic tensions of Ndzube’s homeland and reveal his own experiences. On the left, he evokes European colonists by including an ornament inspired by Gothic architecture spewing toxic orange liquid. On the right, clean water flows beside corrugated metal housing common in South African townships.
The title of this mural is As Above, So Below. Mixed media; 2021. 26 feet on the left side, 36 feet on the right, both at a height of 12 feet.
Simphiwe Ndzube created this mural, As Above, So Below, onsite at the Denver Art Museum in May 2021.
The mural is painted with a horizontal orientation on two intersecting walls. It reaches a total length up to 62 feet with a height of over 12 feet.
The mural, a landscape of the Pink Universe, moves from left to right in prevailing shades of green ranging from fern green to forest green. Jagged mountains are of the darker forest green, and the sky is the color of fern green. Some of the mountains have eyes on the peaks and at the far right are two volcanic peaks spewing green eruptions. Each of these mounts have large mournful eyes staring into the distance. The largest butte is on the immediate left of the mural, and the far right of this hill leans down with the look of the head of a black panther. One large gray eye looks toward the rest of the mountain range.
Different types of foliage display around the base of the mural. On the left side is pink earth out of which grows a tree with lush golden leaves emanating from the branches. On either side of the tree are tall spiky plants reminiscent of desert yuccas, but in hues of pewter. These plants continue around the lower hills of the mural. Rising into the green sky is a silvery moon contrasting the bright-yellow clouds scattered here and there.
Center right of the mural and in the immediate foreground is a luminous tall, pink cactus. It has large spikes that rise up and hug the center of the plant. At the top is a blue flower peeking out from the highest spikes.
The mural is situated behind and below the bird sculpture Nguni Landing. The sculpture hangs from the ceiling, thus creating large, dark shadow effects on either wall that command the view. A larger silhouette shadows the floor directly beneath the bird.
The title of the mural references this quote by the legendary Greek figure, Hermes Trismegistus: “As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…”
As Above, So Below
I am searching for an understanding of existence, of why we’re here… these figures that I create, traversing through these spaces, [are] looking for meaning, looking for love, liberation, and freedom.
Simphiwe Ndzube: Oracles of the Pink Universe is organized by Simphiwe Ndzube and the DAM. It is presented with the generous support of Vicki and Kent Logan and the Birnbaum Social Discourse Project. Additional support is provided by the Hasday Family Trust, the generous donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign and the residents who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Promotional support is provided by 5280 Magazine and CBS4