A Closer Look at Rich Mnisi’s Whimsical Creations
Rich Mnisi is a stalwart of contemporary African fashion. But the prolific multihyphenate has also tackled creative direction, film-making, and furniture. For “Nyoka,” his first solo furniture show, he worked with Cape Town gallery Southern Guild and artisan groups Monkeybiz, Coral & Hive, and Bronze Age Studio on a suite underpinned by Bushongo mythology and the concept of a snake, which originated from a dream his mother had, and from where, in Xitsonga, a Bantu language, the show gets its title. The twisting bronze branches of the Vutlhari chandelier hold resin orbs. Nwa’ntlhohe, a rug in karakul wool and mohair, combines wild tufts and flatweaves. Naturally, a sinuous bronze snake adorns Nyoka, a curved console with beaded fringe. Also on display is Mnisi’s upholstered Nwa-Mulamula (guardian) chaise, a 2018 piece that’s an homage to his great-grandmother.
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