Vivien Kohler is an experimental mixed media painter based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The concept of liminality, the liminal city, and its people, lies at the core of Kohler’s work, which explores migration, marginalization and displacement in the urban landscape of post-Apartheid South Africa. Kohler constructs two and three dimensional assemblage pieces; appropriating discarded material, painting naturalistic figures and detailed replications of packaging material (a layered visual metaphor signifying transience, migration, displacement), to articulate challenging social and economic circumstances that affect those on the periphery. “My works do not hide the realities of the unfair perception,” he says, “but symbolically display it in relations to the liberating verdict of the human spirit.” Fascinated by man’s ability to transcend ‘the conceptual decay’, he captures with gentle rawness the complexity of the human disposition. His work seeks to illuminate the duality of lived experiences by depicting, with an air of surreality, meditative moments of the individual, mentally cocooned from, yet physically enveloped by life’s detritus.