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Mbunyuza, Simphiwe

Simphiwe Mbunyuza

Mbunyuza was born in 1989 in Butterworth, Eastern Cape, and grew up in a village called Mambendeni, which is surrounded by various villages of Xhosa speaking people. He obtained his BTech degree in Fine Arts at the Walter Sisulu University, South Africa, and is now currently based in Norman, Oklahoma, United States of America, where he is completing his Masters Degree. After his studies he hopes to take his skills back to Butterworth, open a ceramic factory, and start programmes to share his skills.

His artwork objects are influenced and inspired by African tradition and culture. The Stoneware objects are made up of mixed mediums such as leather and steel, but the core dominating mediums are clay and glaze. In his work he uses a coiling technique, used by the Xhosa people for centuries to make pots. His interest in ceramics started while he was living in his Butterworth village, as boys would mould cows and other objects from the clay on the river banks. In his artworks, he has captured traditional activities and cultural symbols and put them together in a form of contemporary art.

His work portrays the values and importance of traditional and cultural objects used by his people on different occasions.


  • 2019 Red Clay Faction Award, The University of Oklahoma, Fred Jones Museum.
    Oscar Jacobson Award, The University of Oklahoma, Fred Jones Museum.
  • 2012 John Steele Award for Excellence in Ceramics, Walter Sisulu University, South Africa.
    Outstanding Achievement in Ceramics, Walter Sisulu University, East London, South Africa.

Group Exhibitions

  • 2019 Home Ground , Dyman Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • 2018 105th Annual School of Visual Arts Students Exhibition , Fred Jones Jr Museum, OU.
    ZY Creative Art Center Group Exhibition, Taiyuan, China
    Invisible Boarders, The Community College of Baltimore County, USA.
  • 2017 Small Objects , A.I.R Vallauris, South of France.
    Incokozo ,Galeri Irene Himilton, South of France.
    Franschhoek Annual Festival , Art in the Yard Gallery, Franschhoek, South Africa.
  • 2016 Franschhoek Annual Festival, Art in the Yard Gallery, Franschhoek, South Africa.
    Humanism, Absolute Art Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
    Intloya, Art On Church Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
    Mzontsundu Exhibition, Dorpstraat Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
  • 2015 Extra Ordinary ,The Cape Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.
    African Rainbow , Hout Gallery, Paarl, South Africa.
    Intselo , Ithemba Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
  • 2014 WSU B-tech Expo , Ann Brayant Art Gallery, East London, South Africa.

Art Fairs

  • 2018 AKAA Art Fair, Le Carreau de temple, Paris, France.
  • 2016 Colorful, Art Africa Fair, Cape Town, South Africa.

Artist in Residencies

  • 2017 A.I.R Vallauris France, 11 July to 11 August.

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