Wednesday, 14 January 2009 04:23


Invented Mythologies sculpture by Doung Jahangeer Invented Mythologies sculpture by Doung Jahangeer Photograph by Nadine Hutton/ 2point8

 Invented Mythologies sculpture by Doung Jahangeer - August 2009

Joburg's Ellis Park precinct became a site for one of South Africa’s most remarkable contemporary sculptures by Durban-based artist, Doung Jahangeer.  The artwork, which was commissioned by the Johannesburg Development Agency, was installed in August 2009 after all 3.5 tonnes of it travelled from Durban to Johannesburg. artatwork managed the commission for JDA including submissions by five different artists.

Early in 2009, an adjudication panel of the partners unanimously selected Doung’s piece, which included an animated and scale model of the work as well as a number of beautifully realised sketches and text explaining the inspiration for the piece.  The experience of making this ambitious contemporary sculpture which includes 2.9 tonnes of solid stainless steel rods forming the sphere-shape at the heart of the work, was an experience in a marriage between administrators, engineers and imagination. The engineering challenge  was critical, as the sphere at the centre of the work is also a cradle for a metres-long steel tube and laser cut figure representing a young boy flying a kite. Ensuring its stability involved the x-raying of special welds and constant checking to ensure that few compromises were being made to design to achieve the artist’s remarkable vision.

The work arrived on an articulated abnormal load from Durban and was installed with the help of a 20-tonne crane, by a team from Rebcon engineering, together with the artist, a team from artatwork and assistance from the JDA and all the project partners.

Artist Doung Jahangeer says: "The conceptualisation of Invented Mythologies is rooted in the notion of Genius-Loci or Spirit of Place as a philosophical driving force.  Genius Loci is a concept that lends itself to the belief that every independent being has its genius, its guardian spirit.  In this case, The invented mythology celebrates two well known characters in South African story-telling fiction: Master Harold – from Athol Fugard’s Master Harold and the boys and Zandile from Gcina Mhlope’s Have you seen Zandile. The artwork is conceived to evoke within the viewer a childlike fascination.

It represents the realm of creative and imaginative possibility within us that is often quelled in the humdrum of adult existence.  It presents transformation as not only wondrous but as necessary for survival as dreams are.  It invites the viewer to look up, to look beyond to a new beginning … of now.  My inspiration is therefore derived from the natural phenomenon of everyday life, which invites the untold tales to surface”.

The Sad Man of Jazz by Guy Du Toit  and Egon Tania - August 2009

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This is a life size bronze sculpture of legendary jazz musician Kippie Moeketsi outside the new Kippies in Newtown, Joburg.  The piece was commissioned by the Johannesburg Development Agency and was installed in August 2009.  Not far from where the sculpture is located, is the sculpture of another one of South Africa's musical legends, Brenda Fassie, which was also managed by us, as part of the Sunday Times Heritage project.

The following images present a collage of some of the works produced for the Sunday Times Heritage Project in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal.

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This work by Botswana-based Shepherd Ndudzo gives commuters a diamonds-eye view up Commissioner Street in the inner city of Johannesburg. Commissioned by the Johannesburg Development Agency as part of a regeneration programme in the Jewel City District.  You should have been there on the night the piece was installed. Oy vey on special.

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Last modified on Thursday, 10 January 2013 13:14