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VANISHING TRADITIONS (article first published : 2000-03-23)

David Amukoto is a visiting artist from the John Muafangejo Art Centre in Namibia. Working at the BAT Centre during April as part of the exchange programme between the BAT Centre and the JMAC, he specialises in printmaking as well sculpture. During his time in Durban, David will also attend art classes at Technikon Natal.

Vanishing Traditions is the title of an exhibition of woodcut prints to be shown at BAT in which he focuses on “the vanishing traditions that are slowly disappearing from the face of Africa, soon to be replaced by their modern versions which seem to divert from the original intentions.” He portrays the original traditional life as he saw it when he grew up, using his imagination to interpret the stories that his grandparents used to tell him of strong cultural traditions. “Art is the only route in which you can build and strengthen your cultural heritage,” he explains.

Born in 1971 in Elamba in Namibia, David’s cultural background has played a major role in instilling a sense of pride about his past. In the village where he grew up he was fascinated by cultural dances and get-togethers. As a young boy he liked to draw people’s faces and later made clay pots and children’s toys. He started attending art classes at the JMAC in 1998 when he was introduced to a variety of art techniques. While at the JMAC, he studied part-time as a motor mechanic at the Rossing Foundation Technical College.

He has exhibited at the national art galleries in Namibia and Botswana, appeared in a group exhibition at the United States. This is his first solo exhibition and it runs in the BAT Centre’s Democratic Gallery from April 7 to 30.




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