Trained as a printmaker at Artist Proof Studio in Johannesburg, Zimbabwean artist Raymond Fuyana (b. 1995) is a self-taught painter whose surrealist oil paintings reference his dream life and its liberatory potential. Water is often a central element in these dreams – both soft and hard, it signifies the artist’s interest in the environment and the need to protect it.

As a deaf person, Raymond relocated to St Vincent School of the Deaf in 2009 in order to learn sign language. Raymond’s protagonist is accompanied everywhere by an anthropomorphic emoji — the ‘picture character’ used ubiquitously in electronic messaging. The emoji, often sitting comfortably in a toy box, is a marker for the artist’s own particular relationship to technology and the mobile phone, and its capacity to aid his communication.

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