LÉONARD PONGO

 
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Born in 1988 in Belgium. He lives and works between Bruxelles, Belgium, and Kinshasa, Congo DR.

 

Léonard Pongo is a visual artist and photographer. He sees photography as a tool to reappropriate his Congolese culture and documents with a project like Uncanny the daily life of the big cities in Congo. This project has won him several international awards.

 

He now focuses on exploring the diversity of the DRC’s landscapes and offers allegorical imagery of the country, imbued with a sense of magical beauty and mystical power.

 

Léonard Pongo’s work has been published worldwide and presented in numerous exhibitions, including IncarNations at the Bozar Center for Fine Arts (Bruxelles, 2019), curated by Kendell Geers and Sindika Dokolo, and the 3rd Beijing Photography Biennale at the CAFA Art Museum. He was chosen as one of PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch in 2016. He is a recipient of the 2017 Visura Fellowship, the 2018 Getty Reportage Fellowship and participated in the 2018 Joop Swart Masterclass.

 

Primordial Earth, his latest project, was presented at the Lubumbashi Biennale and the Rencontres de Bamako where it was awarded the “Prix de l’OIF”. In 2021, he will have a solo exhibition at Bozar Brussels. In 2022, he exhibited at the 31 PROJECT gallery during the exhibition "I, myself, am the sun" curated by Liz Gomis. In the same year, the Mu.Zee in Oostende, Belgium, devoted him a solo exhibition. He is also a participant in the Black Rock residency in Dakar (SN), founded by Kehinde Wiley.

 
 

CURRICULUM VITAE

SOLO SHOWS

2022

Primordial Earth, Mu.Zee, Oostende - BE

2021

Strangely Familiar, Foreign Agent, Lausanne, CH

Léonard Pongo, Primordial Earth – The Beginnings, The Agprognostic Temple, Bruxelles - BE

Primordial Earth, The Centre for Fine Arts, Bruxelles – BE

 

GROUP SHOWS

2022

Consume by, Arnhem Museum of Contemporary Arts, Arnhem - NL

Breada Photo 2022: Theater of Dreams, Breda - NL

"I, myself, am the sun", (curated by Liz Gomis), 31 PROJECT, Paris - FR

(Un)Charted grounds, Dakar biennale, Dakar - SN

2021

Photo Vogue Festival 2021, Milan - IT

My whole body changed into something else, Stevenson Gallery,

Cape Town – SA

Five Contemporary African Photographers, The Photographers’ Gallery, London – UK

Radically Naive / Naively Radical, Extra City, Anvers - BE

Extractions, A Two Dogs Company, Bruxelles - BE

2020

Lagos Photo Festival Home Museum, Lagos - NGA

1:54, The Photographic collective, London – UK

Volklinger Hutte “New African photography“, Völklingen - DE

Croyances : faire et défaire l’invisible, Institut des cultures d’Islam, Paris – FR

2019

Les Rencontres de Bamako, Bamako – MALI

Lubumbashi biennale, Lubumbashi – DRC

The New Jerusalem, Bruxelles - BE

Incarnations, Sindika Dokolo Foundation, Bozar, Bruxelles - BE.TIFF, Antwerp Photo Museum, Anvers - BE

2018

CAFA, 3rd Beijing Photography Biennale, Beijing - CHN

2017

Rencontres d’Arles, Arles – FR

 

2016

Lagos Photo Festival, Lagos – NGA

Arles’ nuits de la photo, Arles – FR

Art Basel, Edition POPCAP, Basel – CH

2015

Musée d’art contemporain de Rome, Rome – IT

Noorderlicht photo festival, Groningen, NL

Delhi Photo Festival, Delhi – IMD

Lodz Fotowestival, Berlin – DE

Popcap, Berlin Gallery Week, Berlin – DE

The Uncanny, Contretype art gallery, Bruxelles – BE

 

AWARDS

2021

Selected for CAP Prize 2021, Basel – CH

ICP/GOST first prize for photo book, London– UK

2020

Finalist, Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography, Tel Aviv - IL

2019

Award of l’OIF recipient for Bamako Exhibition design and project

2018

Getty Reportage Grant

2017

Awarded Visura Grant 2017, New York – USA

NOOR agency, Amsterdam - NL

2016

Awarded “Vocatio” grant, Bruxelles - BE

Selected among the emerging photographers of the PDN “30 under 30”, New York - USA

2014

Awarded the POPCAP 14

2013

A Certain Kind of Energy — catalogue, Hors Format Gallery

RESIDENCIES

2022

Black Rock Sénégal, Dakar - SN

 

2019

Residency “Le Point du Jour” art centre, Cherbourg – FR

Research residency with Dokoutine, Bohicon - BN

2016

Residency, KAS, Kin ArtStudio

2013

Residency during Lumbumbashi Art Biennale

 

INTERVENTIONS AND PUBLICATIONS

2021

Published in Le Monde Afrique – FR

2020

Intervention, Yala Kisukidi and selected artists: Kinshasa Biennale

Intervention  avec Dr. Sandrine Colard, FOMU Antwerp, Anvers - BE

Publication of Primordial Earth, Vogue Italy with Astrid Lepoultier

Speaker, Visa pour l’image, Perpignan - FR

Congoville Catalogue, Middelheim Museum, Anvers - BE

2019

Publication of Primordial Earth, Hart Magazine #197

2017

Publication of Necessary Evil, National Geographic, New York – USA

National Geographic 2017 Seminar, Washington DC – USA

2016

Publication of book with IHA/CATPC

2015

Publication, The Uncanny, CNN

 

WITH 31 PROJECT

EXHIBITIONS

2022

"Je suis moi-même le soleil", group show, Paris - FR