IN PICS | Which of these do you think is the Most Beautiful Object in SA?

26 February 2020 - 00:00 By Julia Freemantle
The Soroban ceiling installation at FYN restaurant in Cape Town.
The Soroban ceiling installation at FYN restaurant in Cape Town.
Image: Supplied/Design Indaba

The annual Most Beautiful Object in South Africa (MBOISA) competition, driven by Design Indaba, is now afoot.

Every year, 10 industry mavens are asked to nominate an object that stands out for them as being not only aesthetically pleasing, memorable and representative of its time, but also impactful, sustainable, functional and relevant - even humorous. 

“It’s incredible to have a platform that encourages artists and creators to keep on creating,” says multidisciplinary artist Manthe Ribane, one of the creatives who submitted a MBOISA nomination this year. 

The overall winner will be decided by public vote: check out the nominees below, then cast your vote online at designindaba.com.

THE 2020 MBOISA NOMINEES 

1. The Soroban ceiling installation (pictured above) at FYN restaurant in Cape Town - a collaboration between Tristan du Plessis and Christof Karl, inspired by the Japanese abacus. Nominated by urban strategist Rashiq Fataar, founder and director of Our Future Cities.

2. Zenande from Zizipho Poswa’s Magodi series - a collection of monumental ceramic sculptures inspired by traditional African hairstyles. Nominated by Seth Shezi, GQ’s Best Dressed Man 2018.

3. Dawning by fashion designer Thebe Magugu - an installation that draws on text from the South African constitution as a centrepiece. Nominated by Manthe Ribane, performer and creative director for arteBOTANICA.

'Zenande' by Zizipho Poswa.
'Zenande' by Zizipho Poswa.
Image: Supplied/Design Indaba
'Dawning' by Thebe Magugu.
'Dawning' by Thebe Magugu.
Image: Supplied/Design Indaba

4. Nwa-Mulamula chaise by fashion designer Rich Mnisi, which pays homage to his late great-great-grandmother, whose teachings have lived on in his family (Nwa-Mulamula means ‘guardian’ in Tsonga). Nominated by fashion designer Lukhanyo Mdingi.

Nwa-Mulamula chaise by Rich Mnisi.
Nwa-Mulamula chaise by Rich Mnisi.
Image: Supplied/Design Indaba

5. Remember You Are - a series of photographs promoting fashion designer Tiaan Nagel’s summer collection, inspired by a piece of writing from Ntokozo Mbokazi and shot by Travys Owen; Nagel was responsible for the art direction. Nominated by actress Jodi Balfour.

6. Open - a sculpture by William Kentridge that forms part of his Why Should I Hesitate exhibition at the Norval Foundation in Cape Town. Nominated by Elana Brundyn, founding CEO of the Norval Foundation and former director at Zeitz MOCAA.

A still from designer Tiaan Nagel's 'Remember You Are' campaign.
A still from designer Tiaan Nagel's 'Remember You Are' campaign.
Image: Supplied/Design Indaba
'Open' by William Kentridge.
'Open' by William Kentridge.
Image: Supplied/Design Indaba

7. Delicate Bracelet by Izandla Zethu African Jewellery - a piece handmade from recycled material. Nominated by artist and activist Blessing Ngobeni.

Delicate Bracelet by Izandla Zethu African Jewellery.
Delicate Bracelet by Izandla Zethu African Jewellery.
Image: Supplied/Design Indaba

8. Dog by Chommies - chosen for its ability to spark joy and showcase skill by local artisans. Nominated by Charl Edwards, editor of House & Leisure magazine.

9. Trevor Stuurman’s self-portrait - for its representation of an African artist who has come into his own and found his own voice. Nominated by film director Sunu Gonera.

'Dog' by Chommies.
'Dog' by Chommies.
Image: Supplied/Design Indaba
Trevor Stuurman’s self-portrait.
Trevor Stuurman’s self-portrait.
Image: Supplied/Design Indaba

10. Sculpted earrings by Githan Coopoo - for their ability to cross the boundaries of art and fashion. Nominated by sustainable textile and fashion designer Sindiso Khumalo.

Sculpted earrings by Githan Coopoo.
Sculpted earrings by Githan Coopoo.
Image: Supplied/Design Indaba

The winner of MBOISA will be announced on February 28.

While voting is online, the public is encouraged to see the nominated pieces up close at Design Indaba’s Nightscape festival from February 26 to 28 at the Artscape Piazza in Cape Town. For more details visit the Design Indaba website.