Curators Corner

The BMW Art Generation Program 2023 Launches in South Africa

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The weekend marked the launch of the BMW Art Generation program in South Africa., The event featured a series of immersive events that celebrate contemporary African culture. The event is a collaboration between FNB Art Joburg and BMW Group South Africa, which aims to cultivate a new generation of art collectors while safeguarding the future of contemporary African art.

The BMW Young Collectors Co. was established in 2020 to create a community of young collectors in South Africa. The BMW Art Generation program welcomed artists, seasoned curators, academics, and collectors from Africa and beyond.

Day 1 of the BMW Art Generation. Image courtesy of FNB Art Joburg, Instagram.

Anticipated guests included Dr. Joy Simmons, Azu Nwagbogu, Chika Okeke-Agulu, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and William Kentridge. These influential voices gathered to foster connections and delve into the rich tapestry of contemporary African art. This weekend went beyond a mere art event, offering a profound cultural experience celebrating African creativity and intellect.

Mandla Sibeko, FNB Art Joburg’s Managing Director, recognized Johannesburg’s cultural prominence. He states that the event was the spark to revitalize involvement and investment, solidifying the city as a vibrant hub for contemporary art. The event emphasized knowledge transfer across generations, fostering innovation and community. Moreover, it showcased contemporary African art within the black intellectual tradition.

Lebohang KganyeMohlokomedi wa Tora, 2018
Installation, Scene 1. Image courtesy of artist’s website.

The ethos behind The BMW Art Generation program is centered on innovation, community, and nurturing a vibrant African art scene. By providing education and experiences, the initiative aimed to diversify the collector base in South Africa. It promises to offer future generations the chance to engage directly with artists and galleries.

The BMW Art Generation has established a precedent for future collaborations in African art. Through the event, they inspire hope for ongoing growth, innovation, and the legacy of Africa’s cultural landscape. As we reflect on the success of The BMW Art Generation, it becomes evident that such collaborations are essential for the continued growth and recognition of African art. By providing a platform for innovation, knowledge transfer, and community-building, this partnership is a shining example of how corporate and cultural entities can work together to elevate and preserve the rich heritage of African creativity.


Rose Mwikali Musyoki is a creative writer from Nairobi, Kenya. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business and Finance from the University of Embu, Kenya, and is the founder of Bloom Inc, an art startup in Kenya. Currently, she works as a writer for Art News Africa.

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