Hanno van Zyl

“I like having the opportunity to leave a mark (even if it’s a tiny one) on our cultural landscape.” Hanno van Zyl is an independent illustrator and designer working from the collaborative studio space, Only Today, in Cape Town. His work explores the overlooked narratives of everyday South African objects and spaces with an acutely critical eye. He is particularly influenced by his immediate environment: the little pieces of trash and rubble that gather in gutters, the trinkets found behind the till of spaza shops or the homely façade of a rundown inner city building. This, he views, as a rich cultural playground for a graphic dialogue. Van Zyl’s hand-drawn aesthetic is characterised by starkly rendered line drawings that invite a dispassionate gaze at the banal, thereby highlighting themes of social stratification, fear, economic disparity and violence. His paired down, black and white, brush and ink works also reference older 70s and 80s reproduction methods and shows the informed influence of a rich South African heritage of graphic art. His work is process driven, timely and sophisticated, combining a study of Visual Communication Design at the University of Stellenbosch with an unwavering exploration of the societal underbelly.

Selected Projects & Exhibitions: 2016 – PAY DIRT, a solo exhibition at Salon91; Static, co-curated by Black Koki at Kalashnikov Gallery, Johannesburg; Turbine Art Fair, Salon91 booth, Johannesburg. 2015 – Speechless, Heidi Erdman Contemporary, Cape Town; Turbine Art Fair, Salon91 booth, Johannesburg. 2014 – Those Who Wander, Salon91. 2013 – Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne Vous voulez rire, curated by Benjimin Girard, Site Le Corbusier, Firminy, France.

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