Roger Ballen.   Picture: ALON SKUY/THE TIMES
Roger Ballen. Picture: ALON SKUY/THE TIMES

Photographic artist Roger Ballen has donated all his published work to the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Mocaa) in Cape Town.

Friday marks the official grand opening of the museum‚ where Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is expected to perform a "blessing’’.

Ballen’s controversial art is world-renowned and has been cited by South African "zef" musicians, Die Antwoord‚ who have said his work inspired the birth of the group.

In recognition of Ballen’s donation‚ the Centre of Photography in the museum has been named after the American-born artist.

Left to right: Helen Zille, Desmond Tutu and Patricia de Lille at the opening of MOCAA museum in Cape Town.    Picture: RUVAN BOSHOFF
Left to right: Helen Zille, Desmond Tutu and Patricia de Lille at the opening of MOCAA museum in Cape Town. Picture: RUVAN BOSHOFF

The mission of the Roger Ballen Foundation Centre for Photography is to collect‚ preserve‚ research and exhibit contemporary photography and artworks that use photography from Africa and its diaspora.

"I’m so happy that I can be part of the formation of the foundation‚ of the museum and the archival section‚" said Ballen. "It’s a creative process just for me to able to do this‚ so it’s a real challenge and it couldn’t be a better place [for my work] to be."

Hundreds of visitors are expected to attend the opening of the museum — which cost R500m to create — to view the 100 galleries on seven floors. Twenty dignitaries and children will participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

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