Inga Somdyala


Inga Somdyala is an interdisciplinary artist born in Komani, Eastern Cape, South Africa, living and working in Cape Town. He recently completed an MFA (2019) at the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art. Somdyala is the 2022 recipient of the MTN New Contemporaries Award.

In his work he explores personal aspects of the cultural, political and social negotiations of the post-apartheid generation. Working primarily through painting, print media and installation, his work is an evocative and tactile exploration of cultural identity within South African political history as it intersects with his lived experience.

Following a residency at Nirox Foundation in February 2023, Somdyala presented various work across two venues installed at the Nirox Residency studio space and the new Villa-Legodi Centre for Sculpture. Somdyala’s solo exhibitions include As Far As The Sea (2023) at Reservoir Projects, Cape Town and Adamah (2022) at WHATIFTHEWORLD gallery, Cape Town.

He has taken part in a number of group exhibitions locally, most recently in a travelling exhibition titled Layers: Rock Art Across Space and Time at Nirox Sculpture Park, with a second iteration installed at Brundyn Arts & Culture’s Boschendal Estate exhibition space. The third iteration is set for the Wits University’s Origins Centre at the end of 2023. Additional group exhibitions include The Weight of a Stone (2022) at blank projects, Home Strange Home (2022) curated by Reservoir in collaboration with WHATIFTHEWORLD gallery, Verse (2022) at the Association for the Visual Arts (AVA) Gallery, Matereality (2020) at the Iziko South African National Gallery, the head the hand (2019) at blank projects and AMAQABA Vol. 1 (2018), a collaborative body of work with Xhanti Zwelendaba at Eclectica Contemporary.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2023 As Far As The Sea, Reservoir Projects, Cape Town
Good Grief, Nirox Foundation Residency and Villa-Legodi Centre for Sculpture, Krugersdorp, Johannesburg

Selected Group Exhibitions

2023 Fullhouse, blank projects, Cape Town
Layers: Rock Art Across Space and Time, Nirox Sculpture Park, Krugersdorp, Johannesburg
2022 Home Strange Home - Krone x WHATIFTHEWORLD, Twee Jonge Gezellen, Tulbach
Subject: Object, University of Johannesburg Gallery, Johannesburg
The Weight of a Stone, blank projects, Cape Town
Verse, Association for Visual Arts (AVA) Gallery, Cape Town
The Phoenix Runway - The Phoenix Runway, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2021 Falling Awake, THEFOURTH, Cape Town
2020 Matereality, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town
2019 the head the hand, blank projects, Cape Town
2018 Amaqaba Vol. 1, Eclectica, Cape Town
2016 Unpacking, Eclectica Print Gallery, Cape Town
2015 Collective Noun, Michaelis Gallery, Cape Town

Art Fairs

Cape Town Art Fair 2024
Art Brussels 2024
The Armory Show 2023
Joburg Art Fair 2022


MTN New Contemporaries Award, 2022

Simon Gerson Prize, 2017

Katrine Harries Print Cabinet Award, 2017

Cecil Skotnes Scholarship, 2016

Permanent Collections

Sheryn Art Collection

Katrine Harries Print Cabinet