Akissi

South Africa

"My work is an ode to the unheard voice. I work with colloquialism and volatility, symbolising the silence and deformation of my own voice."

MEET

Akissi Beukman

Akissi Beukman is a multi-talented artist hailing from Pretoria, South Africa, where she has made a significant mark in the realms of performance art, experimental sound art, and painting. In 2018, she proudly earned her honours degree in Fine Arts from Rhodes University, setting the stage for a promising career that has continued to captivate audiences.

At the heart of Akissi's work lies a profound dedication to amplifying the voices that often go unheard. Her artistic journey navigates the terrain of colloquiality and volatility, serving as a powerful symbol for the silencing and distortion of one's own voice in the face of societal pressures.

Currently, Akissi Beukman's art delves into the nuanced expressions of personhood. Her creative practice serves as a reflective canvas for exploring the intricacies of existence itself. Her work is deeply influenced by the notion of performativity, with a keen focus on how gender, race, and the surrounding political landscapes interact with and shape her body. Through her art, she eloquently communicates themes of spiritual healing, offering a profound glimpse into the transformative power of artistic expression.

One of Akissi's notable accomplishments includes her inclusion in the prestigious Sasol New Signatures 100 collection in 2017, a testament to her artistic prowess. Her work has graced the stages of the National Arts Festival from 2015 to 2018, captivating audiences with its evocative storytelling. Akissi's impactful piece, 'Speaking Sound,' left an indelible mark when performed at the Arts Lounge in Makhanda as part of the research team Arts of Africa and the Global Souths (SARChI) during the National Arts Festival in 2018.

Akissi Beukman's art has transcended traditional gallery spaces, pushing boundaries and redefining the very essence of artistic expression. Her performance installation piece, 'MI NOUAN,' garnered acclaim at Youngblood Gallery during First Thursdays and at Intimate Theatre in Cape Town in 2019. She continued to showcase her remarkable work at the ZEITZ MOCAA, contributing to the 'Home Is where the Art is' exhibition.

Most recently, Akissi was handpicked as one of fourteen exceptional artists to participate in the Tankwa Artscape residency in the Western Cape in 2022. During this residency, she unveiled two distinct performance pieces that offered a profound exploration of her ancestral roots within the sacred landscapes.

Akissi Beukman's artistic journey is an ode to the human spirit's resilience and capacity for self-expression. Her work not only challenges societal norms but also serves as a source of inspiration and introspection for all who encounter it. As an artist, she continues to evolve, pushing the boundaries of creativity, and leaving an indelible mark on the contemporary art scene.

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