Phillemon Hlungwani is recognized as one of the most accomplished contemporary artists working in South Africa. Known for his large-scale charcoal drawings depicting scenes from rural life and formal and informal settlements, his work is rooted deeply in a sense of community and the traditional values that endure there.
Hlungwani’s landscapes refer to the self, family and history - personal and general - functioning as a type of documentation of his background. Recent works have seen the introduction of colour into the clothing of his protagonists to draw attention to their vibrancy and humanity. The scenes he depicts are full of motion and life – the characters bursting with thoughts, opinions and yearnings. The mark-making process is one of great importance to Hlungwani’s work and his line carries with it an energy that reveals his great passion.