Ernesto Shikhani´s work is bold in scope, making reference to Mozambique’s artistic traditions while pushing the boundaries of formal conventions. Shikhani and his contemporaries, the artists Malangatana and Chissano, were part of a prominent group of artists in Mozambique who played a key role in broadening aesthetic reciprocity across Africa, Europe and the USA. Shikhani first began exhibiting his work in 1968, and in 1973 a scholarship from the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon saw him conceive his first solo exhibition outside of Mozambique.
In 1982 he received a scholarship to study in the USSR for 6 months, a move which notably contributed to his artistic progression. His work has since been exhibited widely in Portugal, Switzerland, Spain and Dubai, and is held in the collections of the National Museum of Art, Mozambique; Culturgest, Lisbon and Fundação Cupertino de Miranda, Vila Nova de Famalicão, among others. In 2004 Perve Galeria in Lisbon staged a major exhibition of work celebrating 40 years of his painting and sculpture works.