Siyabonga Mkhasibe shares backstories of some of his images

Siyabonga Mkhasibe is a Photographer and Art Director. His portraits and cityscapes range from the dreamy and ethereal, to crisp and vivid.

We asked the self-proclaimed aesthete to select a few favourite images from his collection and describe the associations or inspiration behind each.

Portrait of the artist
Photo credit: Khotso Tsaagane

“It’s so hard to choose images from my portfolio, so many stories I want to share and tell. So, I have selected a few of my favorite images. My photography is very much about people, I’m interested in what people do, how they live, the spaces they inhabit-  so naturally I gravitate towards portraiture; not only of people’s faces but their hands, objects that people use, all these elements help tell a story.”

A Band of Brothers – Musical instruments are truly magical objects and I liken the people who play them to lion tamers, baroque era painters and architects; some of the most masterful and highly-skilled people. I enjoy documenting people and whatever it is they feel most proud to have learned and mastered, things that bring them joy.

Abantu on the beach – what really caught my attention in this image was how the people on the beach reflected the buildings in the distance and shooting black & white film further amplifies this effect. Plus, I absolutely love the people as silhouettes.

Cuts & Jazz – these are images of memories for me, familiar activities, familiar tools. I can almost hear the sound of buzzing clippers and scissors and music playing in the background. My dad used to cut my hair every second Sunday and these stills bring back those familiar memories.

Father Stretch My Hands   It is said that one can learn a lot about a person by looking at their hands. From the surface texture and size to scars and markings. Even metaphorically, hands are custodians – holders and makers of important things.

Street photography: For me, the city is also a being with multiple faces and I enjoy walking the streets and capturing spontaneous moments. Little splices of events that probably won’t occur again.

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