Kumbirai Makumbe

London, United Kingdom
kumbirai makumbe

Tech Innovators

The multimedia artist exploring "the condition of ‘in-betweenness’”. 
Kumbirai Makumbe

Inspired by “seemingly unintelligible feelings and emotions that demand to be felt”, London-based Zimbabwean artist Kumbirai Makumbe wants to make the intangible tangible. This bold aim emerges in their work through the interrogation of the multi-dimensionality and complexity of Blackness and queerness, as well as the exploration of what they dub “the condition of ‘in-betweenness’”. 

It makes sense, then, that their futuristic creations take on many forms – as they delve into the “in-betweenness” of the digital and physical – spanning 3D-printed sculptures, audio-visual digital installations, interactive works, and still and moving images. The result is otherworldly – metallic, sometimes neon, distorted bodies melt into their ethereal digital surroundings, or land with an imagined thud in the viewer’s own physical world.

After graduating from the London College of Communication in 2019, Makumbe featured in the BBZ Alternative Graduate Show, which spotlighted queer womxn, trans, and non-binary Black artists. Speaking to Dazed for the opening of the show, Makumbe described this inclusion as a dream come true. Since then, their work has been displayed around the world, in the likes of Zimbabwe, New York, and on home turf at London’s ICA. As the goal of their art is ever-shifting, exploring the endless possibilities of digital realms, it’s impossible to predict where it might go next – which is exactly the point.

Text Brit Dawson