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Nicholas Hlobo in "Johannesburg"Preview

Nicholas Hlobo reflects on his heritage and identity in this preview of the upcoming “Johannesburg” episode from Season 9 of the “Art in the Twenty-First Century” television series.

Seen at work in his Johannesburg studio, the artist describes language as a way of connecting to his roots. “I think in English,” says Hlobo, “which was the reason I found myself trying to go into using the Xhosa language—to remind myself of where I come from.”

“Johannesburg” from Season 9 of Art in the Twenty-First Century premiered September 21, 2018 on PBS. Watch the full episode and artist segment.

More information

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Interested in showing this film in an exhibition or public screening? To license this video please visit Licensing & Reproduction.

Stream full episodes and segments from the new season of Art in the Twenty-First Century. Watch now.

Nicholas Hlobo

Nicholas Hlobo was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1975 and grew up in Transkei, South Africa. His works on paper, sculptures, installations, and performances utilize rubber, ribbon, leather, and a variety of domestic objects to explore both his identity as a gay Xhosa man and issues of masculinity, sexuality, and ethnicity in South African culture.

“I think in English, which was the reason I found myself trying to go into using the Xhosa language—to remind myself of where I come from.”

Nicholas Hlobo