Zvihari’s painting in Chinese spaceship Asa King Zvihari poses with his painting of a lion

Kundai Marunya

Arts Correspondent

Rising visual artist Asa King Zvihari’s painting is part of a 10-piece art collection on display in the Chinese Tiangong spaceship.

This follows his recent third place finish in “My Dream”, a visual art competition for young African artists designed to promote people-to-people exchanges and cooperation between China and Africa.

Zvihari, a Fine Art student at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ), entered his painting to become one of two Zimbabweans who were part of the three winners, the other being first positioned Hope Mafiko.

Zvihari, who delivered a speech on behalf of participants at a ceremony recently held by the Chinese Embassy, said he was excited that his painting is part of the collection that will continue to inspire astronauts in space.

“I’m so excited that the winning paintings are now on display in space, which is a great achievement for me as an artist,” he said.

Zvihari said his painting speaks on unity as a way to uplift lives in African communities.

“When I entered my dream painting competition, I was glad because it came as a platform to express my future aspirations,” he said. 

“My painting portrays my dream of a future where Africa is united and working together as one to improve their standards of living.

“Through unity, there will be equal distribution of resources, free trade, and employment. When lives are improved, the art industry will thrive, and artists will be able to make a living.”

Zvihari said it took him a week to perfect the award-winning painting.

“To be honest, the way to this award was no child’s play; I had to deal with other complex projects whilst doing this one,” he said.

“Furthermore, bringing an idea to life requires a great deal of effort. However, I was able to overcome every obstacle that came along the way, completing the project in a week.”

Zvihari credited his lecturers for moulding his talent resulting in the win.

“I would like to thank my lecturers for nurturing and moulding me into a great artist and to my friends you hold a very special place in my heart,” he said. “I dedicate this award to my parents.

 “I am what I am today because of your efforts, you left no stone unturned in providing me the necessary resources in life.”

This was not the first time Zvihari has won top honours in an art competition having had thrived in the NGZ’s “Tavatose/ Sisonke” art competition when he was a high school student in Centenary. 

Zvahari said he hopes his achievements will open doors for more young artists.

“I am confident that my efforts will bear fruits and open doors for other artists,” he said. “In fact, thinking about how my dream will benefit people in the future was actually the motivation behind my work.” Even with the win still fresh, Zvihari is already working towards more achievements as he plans to conquer visual art on the global level.

“Currently, l am working on the series of paintings themed ‘My Last Days’ in collaboration with another artist Esther Bodzo,” he said. “We expect to exhibit them in the National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe soon.

The ‘My Dream Painting Competition’ is organised by the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and Chinese Embassies and Consulates in Africa, to give young African artists a platform to showcase their talents.

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