School of Arts

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Mr Melikhaya Noqamza graduated with his Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) from UKZN
Mr Melikhaya Noqamza graduated with his Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) from UKZN

Research into how a new form of technology contributes to the preservation of traditional forms of visual arts earned Mr Melikhaya Noqamza, a bachelor of Visual Arts (honours) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Noqamza, a staff member at the Centre for Visual Art (CVA), research delved into Augmented Reality (AR) – a relatively new technology that allows digital content to be overlaid on the real world.

He focused on how AR contributes to the preservation of traditional forms of visual arts unlike other digital innovations that threaten the old traditions existence, namely photography to painting and video to theatre. ‘AR uses the existing mediums and enhances them,’ he said.

Noqamza found that Augmented Reality technology can be used to enhance multiple fields of study, including safety and security, education and advertising. ‘The findings in my case study show that the technology is pushed to its threshold through inventive art projects which further develop the technology for the fields not related to the arts.’

During his studies, Noqamza’s laptop, with all his research, was stolen during an armed robbery at his home. For him, it was a traumatic experience, but he soldiered on with his research. ‘This affected my timelines and focus, the snowball effect was felt when it came to the final processes of my 3D animation. The time one usually has to go over the finished project and tweak it, was non-existent. I had to hand in work that I never managed to post produce,’ he said.

Despite this setback, Noqamza excelled in his 3D modelling. ‘The sheer quantity of 3D models allowed me to be satisfied with this segment of my digital art learning. It allowed me to move comfortably to the next phase of my 3D learning which involved animation and virtual augmented installation which is what I am busy with at the moment with my masters project.’

He thanked his family, friends and supervisor for their support and encouragement.

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