Léonard Pongo

Léonard Pongo was born in Liège in 1988. He lives and works between Brussels and Kinshasa. After studying political and social sciences, he began his career as a documentary photographer before gradually moving on to include instantaneous and abstract photography in his artistic practice, alongside, video, multimedia installations and tapestries.

How the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is perceived is central to the work developed by this artist who hails from the Congolese diaspora. In Primordial Earth, Pongo explores the diversity of the DRC's landscapes, while his series The Uncanny, which has won several international awards, focuses on urban Congolese society.

His work has been the subject of several solo exhibitions in Brussels at Contretype (2015), Bozar (2021), The Agprognostic Temple (2021), and in Ostend at Mu.ZEE (2022). He has also taken part in several group exhibitions in Brussels, including The Act of Breathing at Horst Festival (2022), IncarNations at Bozar (2019), and JRSLM - Paradise Lost Again at the VUB (2019).

He has also taken part in several international events, including the BredaPhoto Festival (Netherlands, 2022), Dak'Art Biennial (Senegal, 2022), Lagos Photo Festival (Nigeria, 2020), the 6th Lubumbashi Biennial (DRC, 2019), Rencontres de Bamako (Mali, 2019) and Rencontres d'Arles (France, 2017).

His photographs have been published in the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Washington Post, and National Geographic. Pongo has been awarded the Getty Images Reportage Grant (2018) and his work has entered into the Belgian collections of the Flemish Community, FOMU (Antwerp) and Mu.ZEE (Ostend), as well as international collections (Black Rock, Senegal, Chazen in the United States, and the Sindika Dokolo Foundation in Angola).