Willem Boshoff was born in 1951 and grew up in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa. His father, was a trained carpenter and Boshoff grew up with a love of wood and respect for technical expertise. He held his first public exhibition at the Johannesburg Art Gallery in 1981. Major works include KYKAFRIKAANS (1980), an anthology of concrete poetry, the Blind Alphabet Project (1995), Writing in the Sand (2001) and Garden of Words (a project in progress since 1982). His work has been shown extensively in South Africa and internationally. He won a Golden Loerie award
in cooperation with Ogilvie International for his artwork Abamfusa Lawula (1997).
Boshoff’s academic career spans a period of more than twenty years and he is a former head of the Department of Fine Art of the Technikon Witwatersrand (now University of Johannesburg). His qualifications include an honorary doctorate from the University of Johannesburg. He has delivered guest lectures on the interaction of the visual and audio arts at various universities and has published numerous essays and articles. He spends much time compiling dictionaries, which often form the basis for his artworks.His first, A Dictionary of Colour was written in 1997.