Wonder Buhle Mbambo - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale Hong Kong Friday, October 6, 2023 | Phillips
  • “I understand my artistic practice as a space between my inner soul, and my identity. I communicate my views from where I am standing as a Black youth in South African society and the world at large.”
    — Wonder Buhle Mbambo

    Deeply personal, the captivating works of South African artist Wonder Buhle Mbambo investigate questions surrounding identity, solitude and authenticity. Initially turning to art as a form of therapy, as well as being inspired by his family’s engagement with Zulu traditions, Mbambo's paintings encourage quiet reflection and stimulated spirituality through illusory spaces where realism and the surreal coalesce. 

    Directly engaging the audience through their gaze, the striking figure in Comfort is depicted in a meditative and restful state: calm, quiet, confident. Their luminious, dark skin contrasts beautifully against the bright turquoise background and their vibrant gold flip flops that appear to almost pop off the work with a three-dimensionality. As a signature motif within Mbambo's oeuvre, the star-flower scattered throughout the background references impepho, a sage flower primarily used in Zulu culture as a means to communicate with ancestors and invite them into a space. The flowers are also used to cleanse an environment when one feels there are negative spirits occupying it, or even to cleanse one's own body. The use of the impepho flower as a symbol in Mbambo's work is testament to how deeply connected the artist is to his heritage and to ancestral wisdom. 

    Born in the village of Kwangcolosi in KwaZulu-Natal, Mbambo received his formal art training from the BAT Centre's visual arts residency program in Durban in 2010, and the Velobala Apprenticeship Program at the Durban University of Technology from 2011 to 2013. Critically acclaimed across the world, he has been the recipient of numerous international artist residencies, including the Bremer Kunststipendium Art Grant in 2016. Solo exhibitions of his work include COMFORT at BKhz Gallery in Johannesburg in 2020-2021 and uNyezi at Galerie Ron Mandos in Amsterdam in 2022.


    Wonder Buhle Mbambo discusses his practice, 2021
    Video Courtesy of BKhz Gallery



    • Provenance

      Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Johannesburg, BKhz Gallery, COMFORT, 28 November 2020 - 6 February 2021



signed, titled and dated '"Comfort" 2020 Wonder Buhle' on the reverse
acrylic and metallic gold on canvas
164 x 330.8 cm. (64 5/8 x 130 1/4 in.)
Executed in 2020.

Full Cataloguing

HK$75,000 - 115,000 

Sold for HK$139,700

Contact Specialist

Anastasia Salnikoff
Head of Day Sale, Associate Specialist
+852 2318 2014

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 7 October 2023