After studying arts at a college in Benoni, Mongezi Ncaphayi enrolled at Artist Proof Studio, Johannesburg where he first got in touch with printmaking. Around the same time he taught himself how to play the saxophone and discovered how the creative processes are inextricably linked. Music and visual arts are one and the same thing to Ncaphayi, listening is seeing, composing and improvisation are the same be it visually or musically. ‘The only thing that separates the creations is the medium, it flows from the same vein.’
Many of his recent minimalist works are compositions with titles that refer to music pieces, and many of them were created right after saxophone improvisations in his studio. His earlier work, amongst which the work ‘Migrant Workers Hostel’ that won him the prestigious Gerard Sekoto Award at the Absa L’Atelier Awards in 2013 and ‘Compound Housing’ dealt with issues of migration and South African social history.