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Collection: UKWEMBULWA (The Unearthing)

Sakhile Mhlongo's life story serves as the launching element for this solo exhibition exploring his artistic practice, upbringing, and identity through portraiture.

In Ukwembulwa (The Unearthing), the artist touches on themes of the representation of the Black body, drawing from his own experience by redefining his appearance and mannerisms. Mhlongo began deconstructing colourism as a motif with this study, attempting to redefine the usage of the Black body as domestic orientalism.

 Mhlongo showcases large-scale artworks exploring personal unspoken experiences through realistic portraits of himself, his family, and friends.

The work challenges the tradition of memorialising Black bodies with monochromatic drawings, vividly posed pictures, and hauntingly beautiful self-portraits. Some of his earlier paintings feature repurposed curtain fabrics with a vibrant colour scheme, created with acrylic and enamel paint layers on canvas.

The artist felt a balance and harmony when he reunited with his mother and when he underwent a spiritual conversion to Christianity, which he compared to the honeycomb and blossoms of life in his artworks.

34 products
  • Check Mate
    Check Mate
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 157,000.00
    Sale price
    R 157,000.00
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    per 
  • Ngisibekele
    Ngisibekele
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    Sold out
    Sale price
    R 155,000.00
    Unit price
    per 
  • Isibuko
    Isibuko
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 129,000.00
    Sale price
    R 129,000.00
    Unit price
    per 
  • Amachaphazela
    Amachaphazela
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 128,000.00
    Sale price
    R 128,000.00
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    per 
  • Umnqobi
    Umnqobi
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 129,000.00
    Sale price
    R 129,000.00
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    per 
  • A Non-Liberating place
    A Non-Liberating place
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 100,700.00
    Sale price
    R 100,700.00
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    per 
  • Amathuba II
    Amathuba II
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 133,000.00
    Sale price
    R 133,000.00
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    per 
  • Amathuba I
    Amathuba I
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
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    Sale price
    R 10,000.00
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    per 
  • "Mabhiza"
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    Sold out
    Sale price
    R 127,000.00
    Unit price
    per 
  • Zama Gemase
    Zama Gemase
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 122,000.00
    Sale price
    R 122,000.00
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    per 
  • Portrait of my mother II
    Portrait of my mother II
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 90,000.00
    Sale price
    R 90,000.00
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    per 
  • Isikhala sikamama
    Isikhala sikamama
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
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    Sale price
    R 129,000.00
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  • Nondu
    Nondu
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 75,000.00
    Sale price
    R 75,000.00
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    per 
  • Victory
    Victory
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 122,000.00
    Sale price
    R 122,000.00
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    per 
  • Portrait of Mawuena Geyewu
    Portrait of Mawuena Geyewu
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 75,000.00
    Sale price
    R 75,000.00
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    per 
  • Portrait of Gift Vilane
    Portrait of Gift Vilane
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 109,000.00
    Sale price
    R 109,000.00
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    per 
  • Potrait of Luzuko Tsewu
    Potrait of Luzuko Tsewu
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 130,000.00
    Sale price
    R 130,000.00
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    per 
  • Untitled
    Untitled
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 7,000.00
    Sale price
    R 7,000.00
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    per 
  • Portrait of Buhle Tshaya
    Portrait of Buhle Tshaya
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 116,000.00
    Sale price
    R 116,000.00
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    per 
  • Isinqumo II
    Isinqumo II
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 129,000.00
    Sale price
    R 129,000.00
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    per 
  • Uhlelo olungahlelelwe/Unplanned program
    Uhlelo olungahlelelwe/Unplanned program
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
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    Sale price
    R 123,000.00
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    per 
  • Nomfundo
    Nomfundo
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
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    R 103,000.00
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  • Melody
    Melody
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    Sold out
    Sale price
    R 127,000.00
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    per 
  • Ukulindela/Expectation
    Ukulindela/Expectation
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 7,000.00
    Sale price
    R 7,000.00
    Unit price
    per 
  • Sekwanele
    Sekwanele
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 109,000.00
    Sale price
    R 109,000.00
    Unit price
    per 
  • Drakensberg Mountain Range
    Drakensberg Mountain Range
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 55,000.00
    Sale price
    R 55,000.00
    Unit price
    per 
  • Hope
    Hope
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 7,000.00
    Sale price
    R 7,000.00
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    per 
  • Conqueror
    Conqueror
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 7,000.00
    Sale price
    R 7,000.00
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  • Self portrait
    Self portrait
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 10,000.00
    Sale price
    R 10,000.00
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  • Ubude bendlela
    Ubude bendlela
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 10,000.00
    Sale price
    R 10,000.00
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    per 
  • Izimfundiso eziningi
    Izimfundiso eziningi
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 10,000.00
    Sale price
    R 10,000.00
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    per 
  • Spin
    Spin
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 10,000.00
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    R 10,000.00
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  • UNTITLED
    UNTITLED
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 7,000.00
    Sale price
    R 7,000.00
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    per 
  • UNTITLED
    UNTITLED
    Vendor
    Sakhile Mhlongo
    Regular price
    R 7,000.00
    Sale price
    R 7,000.00
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    per