Zhi Zulu was born in Durban in 1995 and raised in Johannesburg. Having completed her Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Visual Communication at The Open Window Institute, she is now doing her Masters in the same field. She is the founder and owner of Zuluvisual, a freelance illustration studio. She won a Gold Craft Loerie Award in 2018.
Zulu loves to tell stories through illustration:
“I make work that eludes to the investigation of my culture. I am a proud Zulu and I enjoy making contemporary visual representations of what I understand is relevant to current society. I have a clear vision of what impact I want to make through my art. Aside from enticing others to discover the rich uniqueness of their own culture, my goal is to influence the education sector by integrating my culture-inspired illustrations with the visual methods of teaching literacy South Africa.”
Zhi Zulu started working with David Krut Projects (DKP) in 2018, featuring in the group exhibitions The Cat Show and Post This!.
In 2019, she collaborated with David Krut Workshop (DKW), producing a silkscreen print together with printer Roxy Kaczmarek called Zebra Crossing. It was her first time being involved in printmaking and the print was later shown at Turbine Art Fair. This experience has led to a 5-part silkscreen series – The Curious Five – that the artist is currently completing. Three of the prints are available (Zebra Crossing, Bridge over troubled giraffe, and C’mon chameleon) with two more in the works for 2021. The Curious Five is inspired by the artist’s experience of African stories being told for tourists and foreigners. The images are a humorous take on stereotypical, inaccurate and fantastical tales that foreigners sometimes believe – of wild animals walking in the streets of Johannesburg, or people keeping them as pets.
Zhi Zulu has also been the interview partner in two episodes of David Krut Podcast. Available on Spotify & iTunes.