Following Pieter Hugo’s first ever solo exhibition in Germany, CORPOREALITY, we are pleased to present his new series KIN.
South African Pieter Hugo has established himself as one of the world’s best-known artists within the space of just a few years. His photographs show the conflicts and inconsistencies at the heart of society, such as the chasm between rich and poor and the effects of racism and corruption. Constants in his work include seriousness, neutrality and an underlying respect for his protagonists, whose dignity always remains intact.
Created between 2006 and 2013, the KIN series consists of portraits, landscapes and still lifes. The exhibition appeared in the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris in 2015.
“South Africa is a fractured, schizophrenic, wounded and troubled place”, says Pieter Hugo. How can one live there? He feels like a “colonial piece of driftwood”, which is arguably what opens his eyes to the contradictions and conflicts, for the areas of friction and tension that exist within (South) African society.
KIN deals with home, proximity, identification and a sense of belonging – something that, in South Africa, he has always experienced as being critical and riddled with conflict: How can one live in this country, which only shed its colonial heritage relatively recently, and which is plagued by racism and a growing chasm between rich and poor?
Hugo shot photos at home, in townships and at historical sites, taking portraits of his pregnant wife, of domestic servants and of homeless people. The calm and clearly composed shots show beauty and ugliness, wealth and poverty, private and public, historical and topical. Without either idealizing or dramatizing the subject matter, they paint a portrait of the complex society in South Africa today.