" An archivist of a future African past in the present time, I wish not only to preserve but to rewrite the collective memory of blackness across the spectrum of her muddied hues in a language so vivid and worthy of our rebellion. To become, we re-imagine what is and what is not. The edge we once knew to be fear became a springboard for us to leap into the unknown, only so our dreams could learn to fly. Therefore the Afrofuturist dreams in Surrealism "
- Tsoku Maela

Born March 29th in Lebowakgomo, South Africa and working, predominantly, on the mediums of photography, film and text, Maela’s work concerns itself with the motivations of most societal issues through the observation and study of human behavior and psyche in hopes of creating a universal understanding of such motivations through dialogue and a unique visual language that borrows from the surrealist and Afrofuturist movement(s).

His work has been featured on CNN: African Voices, Hyperallergic, VICE,  GUP magazine, and showcased in South Africa, Lagos, Zurich and Miami Art Basel at PULSE contemporary Art fair (his work forming part of the top 10 picks by Pérez Art Museum). He is also part of Contemporary Art curator magazines debut book publication "100 Artists of the Future" (2019).

Academically, his work has also been used in student exhibitions in the United Kingdom to raise awareness around mental health and in the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, archived as part of their Transition publication. Private collections of his work include M&C SAATCHI contemporary art collection and JP Morgan Abadali art collection, amongst others.

Concerned with the human condition, the visceral, spiritual, socio-economical and geo-political landscapes, the conversations many consider too taboo to grant space and time - his only desire is to set a fire of love and hope in the heart of anyone who comes across his work, to inspire youthful energy that seeks to create and fight for sustainable change while archiving a beautiful and ever evolving African past, present and future.  




Exhibitions:

2014 - Boom! Baby group exhibition: Young Blood beautiful life Gallery, Cape Town
2014 - Month of Photography group exhibition and talk: Mogalakwena Gallery
2015 - Mass is art group exhibition: Pan African Market, Cape Town
2015 - Cape GRID International Photography Bennial: Castle of Good hope, Cape Town
2015 - Broken Things: A story of self-love: Solo Exhibition, 99 Loop Gallery
2016 - Barongwa: I am that I am: Solo Exhibition, 99 Loop Gallery
2016 - Rituals, LagosPhoto Festival, Nigeria (Broken Things)
2017 - Photo17,  solo, Directors selection (Broken Things), Zurich
2017 - Turbine Art Fair, Lizamore and Associate Gallery
2017 - 35 years: Trailblazers group exhibition, Lizamore & Associates gallery
2017 - FNB Joburg Art Fair, group exhibition with Ablade Glover & Tony Gum, Christopher Moller gallery
2018 - ICT Cape Town Art Fair, group show with Neo Matloga, Ablade Glover (including Andrew Solgado Solo)
2018 - No More clichés, please, solo. Lizamore & Associates gallery
2018 - In Silva group exhibition (including: Gina Waldman, Diane Victor, Anastasia Pather), Kalashnikov gallery, Johannesburg.
2018 - Appropriate, PULSE Art Fair, Art Basel, Miami - Christopher Moller gallery (work selected as top 10 Pérez Art Museum picks)
2019 - In Silva, KKNK Festival, Oudtshoorn