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Pieter Hugo_Kin, South African identity

Fundación Foto Colectania


The Fundación Foto Colectania presents photographer Pieter Hugo’s latest project, an impacting reflection on the contemporary identity of his native South Africa. The series considers the idea of ‘home’ and attempts to assess the gap between the ideals of a society and that society’s immediate reality. The exhibition 'Pieter Hugo_Kin' which will be accompanied by the homonymous book recently launched by Aperture publishers, is a co-production between the Fundación Foto Colectania together with the Paris based Fundación Henri Cartier-Bresson and can be visited in Barcelona from September 19th through December 10th 2014.

Carried out over the past eight years, the Kin series as recorded by Pieter Hugo deals with complex issues such as colonization, racial diversity and economic inequality in today’s South Africa. These are recurring themes in previous projects that the author has explored in countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Botswana, as in the case of his famous series "Nollywood" or "The Hyena and Other Men".  This time around however Hugo's attention is focused on his troubled relationship between the people and the environment of his native country.

  • Pieter Hugo

    Loyiso Mayga, Wandise Ngcama, Lunga White, Luyanda Mzantsi y Khungsile Mdolo después de su ceremonia de iniciación, Mthatha, 2008

    Chromogenic copy, 105 x 131 cm

    © Pieter Hugo, courtesy Galería Stevenson, Capetown /Johannesburgo and Yossi Milo, New York

  • Pieter Hugo

    Green Point Common, Ciudad del Cabo, 2013

    Chromogenic copy, 105 x 135 cm

    © Pieter Hugo, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Capetown/Johannesburgo and Yossi Milo, New York


    Kin (which means family) is a personal exploration by the South African author through landscapes, portraits and still lifes. Hugo presents us with places and objects which are imbued with personal associations, such as the crowded townships, disputed farmlands, abandoned mining areas and subjective political spaces as well as still lifes saturated with psychological meaning and portraits of vagrants and homeless. The author also shares intimate portraits of his pregnant wife, his daughter’s birth or another of his domestic maid who has worked with the family over three generations. Alternating private and public spaces, with special emphasis on the growing disparity between rich and poor, Kin represents an attempt by the author to find his own place and that of his young family within a country with a tense history and an uncertain future.

  • Pieter Hugo

    Daniela Beukman, Milnerton, 2013

    Chromogenic copy, 103 x 82 cm

    © Pieter Hugo, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Ciudad del Cabo/Johannesburgo y Yossi Milo, New York


    Pieter Hugo describes the project Kin as “a commitment to the failure of the South African colonial experiment and my feeling of being a colonial piece of driftwood ... South Africa is a fractured, schizophrenic, wounded and troubled place. It is a very violent society where the scars of colonialism and apartheid are still very deep. Issues such as race and cultural custody permeate all aspects of society and the legacy of enforced social segregation still casts a long shadow ... ".

  • Pieter Hugo

    Samuel Nkosomzi, Ciudad del Cabo, 2007

    Copia cromogénica, 127 x 102 cm

    © Pieter Hugo, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Ciudad del Cabo/Johannesburgo y Yossi Milo, New York


    The Kin series is also recorded in a book published by the prestigious New York publisher Aperture and Pieter Hugo presented at first in Photo Colectania next September.

    Born in Johannesburg in 1976, Pieter Hugo grew up in Cape Town, where he now lives. He is a self-taught photographer who learned his technique after receiving his first camera as a gift on his twelfth birthday, when the country was in the twilight of apartheid. The resulting conflicts and the general mood of excitement and fear, prompted him to begin photographing his surroundings. Shortly afterwards, Pieter Hugo began experiencing the stigma associated with being a white photographer in a predominantly black continent. He began working as a photojournalist but quickly evolved his work in documentary photography, a genre which he is more comfortable with.

  • From 19 September to 10 December
  • Fundación Foto Colectania
  • Carrer de Julián Romea, 6
  • www.colectania.es
  • Fundación Foto Colectania
  • Carrer de Julián Romea, 6
  • 08006 Barcelona
  • Telf: +34 93 932 17 16 26