at a Distance
Captured through a WhatsApp conversation conducted on their mobile phones, Saki Mafundikwa and Chino Amobi indulge in a rich exchange that is all at once both casual and encyclopedic. Both graphic designers have a deep connection to the world of music and the visual arts. Their research and work draws on their African heritage and the dynamism of their lived experience as international multidisciplinary artists.
Saki Mafundikwa is the founder and director of the Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts (ZIVA) a design and new media training college in Harare. He has an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University. He returned home in 1998 to found ZIVA after working in New York City as a graphic designer, art director and design instructor. His book, Afrikan Alphabets: the Story of Writing in Africa was published in 2004. It is the first book on Afrikan writing systems. Currently out of print, it will be re-printed in 2021. His award-winning first film, Shungu: The Resilience of a People premiered at 2009’s (IDFA). Active on the international lecture circuit, he was a speaker at TED2013 in Long Beach, California and was a TED speaker at the PMI 50th Anniversary Conference in Dar es Salaam in 2019. He has been published widely on design and cultural issues. He lives, works and farms in Harare.
Chino Amobi Is a multimedia artists who combines art, painting, design, music, writing, and film with a rich assemblage of styles and voices. Amobi is a co-founder of the independent record label NON Worldwide and creative director of EROICA. In 2016 he released the EP Airport Music For Black Folk and in 2017 released his debut album Paradiso to critical acclaim. He recieved his MFA in Visual Communication at VCU. Amobi also earned a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from VCU. Chino has performed internationally in venues across New York, Los Angeles, South Korea, Russia, France, and Brazil.