Atang Tshikare is a multidisciplinary creative based in Cape Town, who has specialised in sculptural furniture since 2016. Born in Bloemfontein in 1980, he has been drawing for as long as he can remember, on any surface he could get his hands on. A self-taught artist in a wide range of media, he was influenced by the visual storytelling and graphic style of his father – an anti-Apartheid activist who illustrated for various pan-African publications and arts magazines.
Tshikare began a full-time art career in 2010 with his company Zabalazaa Design, collaborating with local artists and working on commissions with brands such as Adidas Originals, Puma, BMW and MTV Base. He began exhibiting limited-edition work with Southern Guild in 2012, applying his architectural line-based artwork to furniture and telling personal narratives using urban-inspired forms. His collectible designs have evolved into sculptural furniture and functional art in a variety of materials including ceramics, fiberglass, wood and bronze.
Tshikare’s work for Southern Guild takes an experimental approach to fabrication, as he prefers making his pieces himself by hand. His narrative-laden designs spring from his fertile imagination and deep connection to his own Tswana and other Southern African cultures. His collections also draw on his interest in vernacular architecture, local landscapes, biomorphic forms and zoomorphic shapes.
He has exhibited broadly, including at international design fairs and museums such as Design Days Dubai, Design Miami and Design Miami/ Basel, as well as the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. He is the recipient of the Design Foundation 2014 Future Found Award and has been featured in Nataal, PIN-UP Magazine, and on Dezeen, CNN and BBC. In 2020, he was a nominee for both the London Design Museums’ Beazley Awards and Créateurs Design Awards.