About Ruhan Janse van Vuuren | Art.co.za | Art in South Africa
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About The Artist

Artist Photo

Artist Biography

Ruhan Janse van Vuuren was born in Amersfoort, Mpumalanga, in 1981. The Janse van Vuuren family moved to Pretoria in 1989. He matriculated in 1999 from Garsfontein High School and studied Fine Arts at the Tshwane University of Technology under the guidance of Guy du Toit, Jan van der Merwe and Kevin Roberts. He specialised in sculpture and painting. After completing his degree, he started working as an assistant with the modelling of large scale figures at Dionysus Sculpture Works. After four years of apprenticeship and learning new skills, working with materials such as bronze, stainless steel, aluminium and granite, he decided to focus on his own work and building his career as a sculptor.

Janse van Vuuren has exhibited nationally and internationally.

Janse van Vuuren divides his time between new works to exhibit, private and public commissions.

He continues his work at his studio in Pretoria.

Artist Statement

Ruhan Janse van Vuuren mainly use of the figure as a vehicle and starting point from which the final works emerge. He is inspired by people that he knows rather than strangers – and these individuals are more often than not featured in his work. As such, the body of work becomes an intimate diary of time passing.

He is also moved by music. He finds a specific kindred connection in the brutal honesty of the protest music movements. He also delves into the abyss of absurdist comedies and the Kafkaesque undertones of daily living.

This fascination of daily being is seen in his use of the mundane objects that are scattered throughout his works. This mundanity is encapsulated in the re-appropriation of kitsch collectables. In this manner Janse van Vuuren explores the idea of the devaluation of the valuable, and the revaluation of the seemingly insignificant. Janse van Vuuren’s work smacks with an undertone of meaningless paradoxes and black humour. The binary relationship between good and bad taste invites the viewer to redefine their understanding of authenticity within a mass-produced-existence.

His latest body of work bears witness to this underlying concept as he experiments with 3-D printing as a form of creation. It is employed and then deformed. The works are, therefore, not strictly digital designs with a total reliance on automated production. The process makes use of the reality of technology, it embraces the reality our technological reality. But as the process progresses, traditional sculptural elements are reintroduced. The clay modifications, wax and bronze casting illustrate the technical proficiency for which he has become renowned. This work is a striking balance between technical skill and contemporary methods – a meeting point for technology and nostalgia.

This ongoing exploration between the most intimate points of the self and their subsequent intersections with the reality of the world that we live in today creates intriguing works. The viewer finds themselves both enticed by a sense of familiarity, yet at the same time almost remote as you do feel as if you are witnessing something intricately personal (albeit completely relatable).

"I compress multiple ideas into a single work. Inevitably the original idea morphs into something else. You add some details while stripping other excesses away: in this way you are able to find the core of the work. Which can never be the same as it was at conception. I suppose this is what the progression of time does.

Maybe there is meaning. Maybe it is all meaningless. The viewer can decide that for themselves."

- Ruhan Janse van Vuuren

List of exhibitions and commissions:

Current Projects:

  • Exhibition @Tokara Curated by Ilse schemers FRA
  • Private Commission @ Zico Holdings NOT
  • Commission work – Dr. Kenneth Kaunda LUS
  • Exhibition with Bastiaan van Stenis @ ISART FRA
  • Solo Exhibition @ Breytenbach Gallery WEL
  • PRIVATE COMMISSION PTA
  • THEATRE ON THE BAY EXHIBITION – JOHANNES KERKORREL & TALIEP PIETERSON CPT

2019:

  • Oh Mercy Group Exhibition curated by Gordon Froud @ArtBox Gallery PTA
  • Aandadig Group exhibition @ Breytenbach Sentrum WEL
  • On Beauty Group Exhibition @ Breytenbach Sentrum WEL
  • Permanent Exhibition @ Saronsberg Cellar TUL
  • Back to the future Group Exhibition @ Dawid Ras Gallery JHB
  • Group Exhibition @ ISArt Gallery FRA
  • Turbine Artfair @ Carol Lee JHB
  • Turbine Artfair @ Carol Lee JHB
  • HIRAETH @ Innibos Art Festival curated by Johan Myburg NEL
  • Group Exhibition @ ISArt Gallery STL
  • Chicken Challenge @ White River Galley NEL

2018:

  • Exhibition with Bastiaan van Stenis @ Fried Contemporary Gallery Pretoria GP
  • Sculpture on the Cliffs Exhibition @ Hermanus WC
  • Commission @ Leeu House WC
  • Commission @ Linthwaite House UK
  • Commission @ Max Towers IND
  • Private Commission @ Zico Holdings GP
  • Group Exhibition @ Linteloo Zeist Netherlands
  • Turbine Artfair 2018 @ Dawid Ras GP
  • 20 YEARS DSW Group Exhibition @ Oliewenhuis Museum FS
  • Group Exhibition @ Saronsberg Cellars – Second Take WC
  • Private Commission @ Zungu Investments KZN
  • Permanent Exhibition @ Saronsberg Cellars WC
  • Woolworths Auction in Conjunction with Saronsberg Cellars WC
  • Group Exhibition @ Dawid Ras Gallery GP
  • Bob Marley @ Rufaro Stadium ZIM TBA

2017:

  • Permanent Exhibition @ Saronsberg Cellars @ Tulbagh WC
  • Group Exhibition @ IS ART Linteloo Zeist Netherlands
  • Group Exhibition REALITY CHECK @ Everard Read Gallery CPT
  • Group Exhibition @ IS Art Gallery WC
  • Group Exhibition @ Art it is CPT
  • Group Exhibition @ DF Contemporary CPT
  • Group Exhibition @ Breytenbach Sentrum WLN
  • Group Exhibition TACIT – 20 years DSW @ William Humphreys Gallery Kimberley
  • Group Exhibition TACIT – 20 years DSW @ Pretoria Art Museum PTA
  • Group Exhibition COLLECTIVE @ Carol Lee Fine Art Gallery JHB
  • Group Exhibition @ Cavalli Equus Gallery Somerset –West
  • Group Exhibition at Art @ Almenkerk MUTE WISDOM curated by Gordon Froud CPT
  • Art Africa Fair ( DF Contemporary ) CPT
  • Group Exhibition BOSCH IN AFRICA curated by Sandra Hanekom WOORDFEES Stellenbosch
  • Turbine Artfair (DF Contemporary) JHB
  • Sound and Sculpture @ Temple of Apelles Lisbon PRT
  • Chief Sekhukune Commission @ The Castle of Good Hope CPT
  • Chief Langalibalele Commission @ The Castle of Good Hope CPT
  • Private Commission @Elleke Holdings Berlin Germany
  • Private Commission @Melbourne AUS
  • TWIN CITY Commission @ Groblersdal Mall Gauteng
  • Commission @ Saronsberg Wine Cellar Tulbagh Western Cape

2016:

  • Commissioned work of Fidel Castro @ NHP National Heritage Project Pretoria
  • Commissioned work of Chris Hani (with Andre Prinsloo) @ NHP National Heritage Project Pretoria
  • Fidel Castro Figure @ Freedom Park Bloemfontein
  • Fidel Castro Figure @ Fidel Castro Building Bloemfontein
  • Netcells commission Johannesburh
  • Lords of Winter @ Equus Gallery SWE
  • Commune @ Upstairs at Bamboo (February) Johanneburg
  • Cape Town Art Fair Cape Town
  • SAADA @ The Waterfront (February) Cape Town
  • Fin, Feather and Fur @ In Toto Gallery (March) Johannesburg
  • Animals @ Tokara Franschhoek
  • Group Exhibition @ Cavalli Estate (May) Cape Town
  • Provenance @ Upstairs at Bamboo (May) Johannesburg
  • No. One Eloff Inner City Sculpture Exhibition (June) Johannesburg
  • Tacit 20 year of Dionysus Sculpture Works – A travelling exhibition South Africa
  • Group Exhibition @ Tokara Cape Town
  • Saadjie (A Cool Capital Initiative) Venice Beinnale
  • An exhibition with Bastiaan van Stenis @ Lizamore and Associates Johannesburg
  • #thethirdseason An Exhibition with Dylan Graham @ Fried Contemporary (tbc) Pretoria
  • Finalist in the 1860 Indentured Labour Memorial Public Artist Commission (with Amita Makan) KZN
  • Turbine Art Fair (DF Contemporary) Johannesburg
  • Group Exhibition (DF Contemporary) Cape Town
  • Skulls (DF Contemporary) Cape Town

2015:

  • Group Exhibition MANIFESTO @ Upstairs at Bamboo (Nov) Johannesburg
  • Group Exhibition @ Lizamore at Clairvaux (Nov) Robertson
  • Permanent Exhibition @ Lizamore and Associates Gallery Johannesburg
  • Private commission House Beaurain (Feb – May) Johannesburg
  • Private commission House Elleke (Jan –June) Cape Town
  • HORSE Exhibition @ Oude – Libertas Gallery (April) Stellenbosch
  • Gran Cavallo Exhibition @P.A.A (April) Pretoria
  • Exhibition Winter is coming @ Equus Gallery (March) Somerset-West
  • Exhibition with Dylan Graham MUTE @ Dawid's choice (March) Johannesburg
  • Exhibition with Carol Lee Fine Art @ Turbine Art Fair (June) Johannesburg
  • Group Exhibition at Roodt and Co. (July) Johannesburg
  • Rooftop Exhibition @ St. Lorient (July) Pretoria
  • Summer of Sculpture Exhibition in conjunction with Everard Read @ Mount Nelson (Dec-April) Cape Town
  • Group Exhibition @ Tokara Gallery (Dec-April) Franschoek
  • Group Exhibition @ Equus gallery APHRODISIAC (Jan) Somerset - West
  • Group Exhibition VANTAGE @ Upstairs at Bamboo (May) Johannesburg
  • Proclamation, an exhibition with MJ Lourens @ IS ART (Sep) Franschoek
  • Group Exhibition @ Equus gallery KINGDOM (Oct) Somerset West
  • Group Exhibition @ Equus Gallery THE FOUR HORSEMEN (Nov) Somerset West

2014:

  • Nominated for Most Beautiful Object in South Africa (MBOISA) at The Design Indaba (for the sculpture of Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings)
  • Albert Luthuli Award @ The Albert Luthuli Centre (University of Pretoria)
  • Private Commission @ Studio 3 (Pretoria)
  • Group Exhibition in conjunction with Essentially Art @ The Rotterdam Artfair 2014 (Rotterdam)
  • Group Exhibition @ Lifestyle Event Gallery (Franschhoek)
  • Group Exhibition @ Equus Gallery (Franschhoek)
  • Bust of Nelson Mandela in conjunction with Koketso Growth (in collaboration with Andre Prinsloo)
  • Group Exhibition @ Lizamore and Associates (Johannesburg)
  • Koketso Growth: Launch of the National Heritage Project @ Fountains Valley (Pretoria)
  • Commission for a Public Sculpture @ The Club (Pretoria)
  • Group Exhibition with Lizamore and Associates @ Turbine Art Fair (Johannesburg)
  • Artfair 2014 (Johannesburg)
  • Group Exhibition in conjunction with Essentially Art @ Galerie Bart (Amsterdam)
  • Group Exhibition with Louis Olivier @ Lizamore and Associates (Johannesburg)
  • Commission of Moses Kotane for the Moses Kotane Heritage Foundation

2013:

  • Monument to Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings: as commissioned by the DAC in collaboration with the Oliver & Adelaide Tambo Foundation (in collaboration with Andre Prinsloo)
  • Participation in the National Heritage Project
  • Monument to Griffiths Mxenge: as commissioned by the Municipality of Pietermaritzburg (in collaboration with Andre Prinsloo)
  • Monument to Victoria Mxenge: as commissioned by the Municipality of Pietermaritzburg (in collaboration with Andre Prinsloo)
  • Monument to Archbishop Denis Hurley: as commissioned by the Municipality of Pietermaritzburg (in collaboration with Andre Prinsloo)
  • Monument to Pixley ka Isaka Seme: as commissioned by the Municipality of Pietermaritzburg
  • Monument to Abdullah Abdurahman: as commissioned by the NHP in collaboration with Dali Tambo (in collaboration with Andre Prinsloo)
  • Monument to Cissie Gool: as commissioned by the NHP in collaboration with Dali Tambo (in collaboration with Andre Prinsloo)
  • Monument to Langalibalele: as commissioned by the NHP in collaboration with Dali Tambo (in collaboration with Andre Prinsloo)
  • Bust of Nelson Mandela: as commissioned by the NHP in collaboration with Dali Tambo and the Nelson Mandela Foundation
  • Fragile: Show with Diane Victor and Lionel Smit at Galerie Bart (as curated by Essential Art) (Amsterdam)
  • Group Exhibition: A tribute to Tom Waits (as curated by Gordon Froud) (Travelling)
  • Group Exhibition @ The Gallery at Grande Provence (Franschhoek)
  • Group Exhibition as curated by Dawid Ras (Johannesburg)
  • Group Exhibition: An Ode to Madiba (@ Innibos Kunstefees) as curated by Pretoria Kunsvereeniging (Nelspruit)
  • Collaborative Show with Diane Victor: as curated by Jaco Gelderblom (Amsterdam)
  • Group Exhibition: I am an African @ The Gallery at Grande Provence (Franschhoek)
  • Group Exhibition: Lifestyle Gallery (Franschhoek)
  • Private Commisions

2012:

  • Collaboration with Diane Victor: Group Exhibion @ Pretoria Kunsvereeniging (Pretoria)
  • Ik ben ein Afrikaner: Group Exhibition @ Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (KKNK)
  • Transience: Solo Exhibition @ Artspace Gallery (Johannesburg)
  • Monument of Nokuthula Simelane Monument: Commissioned by the Govan Mbeki Municipality (Bethal)
  • Artspace Mentorship Programme: with Marco Ciafanelli (Johannesburg)
  • Weltevreden Wine Estate Art Installation: Private Commission (Stellenbosch)
  • Monument of Chief Sekhukhune: in Collaboration with the Oliver & Adelaide Tambo Foundation and NHP
  • Monument of Dr. Pixley ka Isaka Seme: As commissioned (Durban)
  • Monument of Archbishop Denis Hurley (in collaboration with Andre Prinsloo) (Durban)
  • Group Exhibition: A tribute to Leonard Cohen (as curated by Gordon Froud) (Travelling)

2011:

  • Excuses: Exhibition with Leon Fourie @ Artspace (Johannesburg)
  • Just another excuse: Exhibition with Leon Fourie @ Steward Gallery (Pretoria)
  • PPC Young Sculptor Awards – 20 Year Commemorative Exhibition @ Pretoria Kunsvereeniging (Pretoria)
  • A final excuse: Exhibition with Leon Fourie @ Pretoria Kunsvereeniging (Pretoria)
  • Private Commissions

2010:

  • The Owl and the Pussycat (with Diek Grobler, Diane Victor, Gordon Froud) @ PKV (Pretoria)
  • Group Exhibition @ Off the Wall Contemporary (Paarl)
  • Private Viewing for the SAA Launch with Otto De Jager (Johannesburg)
  • Design and Creation of the Trophy for the Black Arts & Culture Festival: Senegal
  • Private Commissions

2009:

  • Assistant: Johannes Phokela's I Love my neighbours (Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg)
  • Permanent Exhibition @ iArt Gallery (Cape Town)
  • Permanent Exhibition –@The Gallery at Grande Provence (Franschhoek)
  • Group Show @ Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West)
  • Group Show @Off the Wall Contemporary (Paarl)
  • Four Women and a man @ Fried Contemporary (Pretoria)
  • Metamorphasis @ Carol Lee Fine Art (Johannesburg)
  • Affordable Art @ Fried Contemporary (Pretoria)
  • Group Show @ The Gallery at Grande Provence (Franschoek)
  • Recent Works (A show with Lionel Smith and Vasti Wilkinson) @ Rust and Vrede (Cape Town)
  • Angels @ The Gallery at Grande Provence (Franschoek)
  • Nokuthula Simelane Monument Project – Commissioned by the Municipality of Govan Mbeki
  • Commission work for Private Collectors

2008:

  • 10 year Dionysus Sculpture Works Exhibition @ Saronsberg Wine Estate (Tulbagh)
  • Transform @ Carol Lee Fine Art – Upstairs at Bamboo (Melville)
  • Faces and Places @ Off the wall contemporary (Paarl)
  • Testosterone @ Magpie Gallery (Centurion)
  • Group Exhibition @ Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West)
  • Act I, Scene II (Solo) @ Dawid Ras (Johannesburg)
  • Bigwood (as curated by Trevor Paul) (Durban)
  • Encounter @ Carol Lee – Upstairs at Bamboo (Melville)
  • Skindeep @ Kyk Contemporary (Pretoria)
  • Act II, Scene I. An exhibition with Marijke de Kock @ Association of Arts (Pretoria)
  • Dawid’s Choice at Rooms on view (Cape Town)
  • Group Exhibition @ Carol Lee Fine Art (Bamboo, Melville)
  • Exhibition with Theo Kleynhans @ Die Dorpstraat Galery (Stellenbosch)
  • Reflect/Refuel @ Association of Arts (Pretoria)
  • Group Exhibition @ Off the Wall Contemporary (Paarl)
  • Winner: PPC YOUNG SCULPTORS COMPETITION: Best sculpture on exhibition
  • Angels @ The Gallery at Grande Provence (Franschhoek)

2007:

  • Dawid’s Choice @ KKNK
  • Encapsulate @ Platform on 18th (Pretoria)
  • Exhibition with Leonora van Staden @ Die Dorpstraat Galery (Stellenbosch)
  • Group Exhibition @ Off the wall contemporary (Paarl)
  • Dawid’s Choice @ Die Rittelfees
  • Sculpture Garden @ The Gallery at Grande Provence (Franschhoek)
  • Group Exhibition @ Carol Lee - Upstairs at Bamboo (Melville)
  • Dawid’s Choice @ Aardklop
  • Commission: Grensverskrywing (The Aardklop Trophy)
  • Merit Award: Technical excellence: PPC Young Sculptor Awards

2006:

  • Sculptural Degree with distinction from TUT (Pretoria)
  • Deluge @ Gordart Gallery (Johannesburg)
  • Exhibition with Francois Visser @ The Gallery at Grande Provence (Franschhoek)

2005:

  • Ethereal Matters @ Alette Wessels Kunskamer (Pretoria)
  • Dionysus Sculpture Works Group Exhibition @ Association of Arts (Pretoria)

2004:

  • Full time assistant @ Dionysus Sculpture Works (Pretoria)
  • Lecturing Sculpture & Painting
  • Group Exhibition @ Gordart Gallery (Johannesburg)
  • Winner: Technical excellence at the PPC Young Sculptor Awards

2003:

  • Group Exhibition @ Birkenhead Estate (Stanford)
  • Full time assistant @ Dionysus Sculpture Works (Pretoria)
  • Assistant on the commissions of Brenda Fassie / Chief Tshwane / Solomon Mhlangu / Tsietsi Mashini / Bongi Memorial

2002:

  • Group Exhibition @ Mind’s I (Brooklyn)
  • Assistant to Angus Taylor – commission for Saronsberg Wine Estate
  • PPC Young Sculptors Awards

2001:

  • Light & Electricity @ Pretoria City Hall

2000 - 2002:

  • NDip Fine Arts, Pretoria Technikon
  • Distinction in Sculpture, Painting and Drawing

1999:

  • Matriculated from Hoërskool Garsfontein Distinction in Art

1998:

  • Awarded Art Student of the year
  • Sanlam International Exhibition
  • Rentmeester Exhibition

1989 - 1998:

  • Jacqui Theron Art School Award for Sculpture Student of the Year


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