From Kinstudio to Congo Biennale - Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo

From Kinstudio to Congo Biennale – Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo

Reading Time: 7 minutes

In From Kinstudio to Congo Biennale – Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo, Horcelie Sinda is in Conversation with Vitchois Mwilambwe Bondo, founder of The Congo Biennale. The Breathe of our ancestors: Vitchois Mwilambwe’s journey in the artworld.
The journey of an artist can take many turns. From completing art school to getting into the artworld art world, there are challenges one may face to achieve their goals. For Congolese Curator and artist, Vitchois Mwilambwe Bondo, his inspiration is the Congo and its history. Born in 1981, Bondo began his career in 2007 as an artist, but later on understood that the opportunity for many artists in the Congo were limited. Despite these challenges, he built a network and later founded KinStudio. The studio was designed to aspire and accommodate young upcoming artists from the Congo, giving them a space to network and create. Bondo later founded Congo Biennale to expand the international networks of artists, professions, and institutions; significantly those from the African continent. Today Kinstudio celebrates its 10th anniversary and it has become a platform for art business in Kinshasa. Moreover, Bondo co-leads this year’s second edition of the Biennale entitled Breath of the Ancestors, curated by Dr Fahamu Pecou and Armelle Dakouo. Through ancestry history, the show aims to expand knowledge of individual and collective experiences within the continent. It also opens discussion of contemporary art within the post-independence era.

When did the initiative of Kinstudio start?

V.M.B: Kinstudio began in 2010 as a project, I wanted to support the younger generation, emerging visual artists and to pass on the experience. In kinshasa art galleries do not exist though the city is large, there are not many art initiatives. When I found a physical space in 2011, I created a space including a library to connect artists to the outside world and art history. This year we would have celebrated its 10th anniversaire, but next year the vision is to create an Art business. I want to have a gallery that connects with different galleries. I would like to bring Kinstudio to become more than an education platform but to build a business on the side. It started as a Master class in 2012, where we welcomed artists including Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga, they were one of the first students I supported. Kinstudio is a non-profit organisation, the studio includes free internet to enable artists to do their research, also for a share for them to meet other artists for the residency. I also invite artists from Germany to give workshops to help artists develop their content. One of African artists I have visited is Berthelemy Tonguo Whenever I travel, I collect art magazines and books to help artists in Kinstudio to gain an understanding of the artworld.

From Kinstudio to Congo Biennale – Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo – © Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo, “Avatar”, Courtesy of Primo Marella Gallery 2014

What were the difficulties you faced opening Kinstudio?

V.M.B: I had many connections prior to opening Kinstudio. I have exhibited my artwork in France, at the 1.54, Belgium and many different places. It is difficult to introduce Congolese art to the white because no one believes in you. When white people do things it is celebrated because it is white. Despite the obstacles, I started self-funding from the money I was making from my artwork, getting sponsors, especially for the biennale. It was difficult for me to find a strategy that will take the vision far because many Congolese people did not believe it. There was competition amongst other Congolese artists. I began to criticize the older generation that came before me, they did not create a platform for the next generation. When i began working with artists in the Congo, they began turning their backs on me when they started receiving money and a bit of success. There are some that are also supporting.

Do you receive any governmental support?

V.M.B: The government does not support Kinstudio because it is not a priority. I focused on the network that I had, this helped me to widen my support from others in terms of funding. For example for the Congo biennale, we invite different organisations from elsewhere fSometimes i make applications. I have tried to approach business men as well in the Congo to support our work. However, they were willing to help me only if a white man is present. They believe more in white people than Congolese people. Instead I work in partnership with Foundation Montresso,

From Kinstudio to Congo Biennale – Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo – © Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo, “Glamarous and Fairy”, Acrylic & Collage on Canvas 2014

Why did you decide to bring the Biennale Concept to Congo?

V.M.B: Congo Biennale is alongside Kinstudio. In 2013 we already had the idea but we waited to see how artists in Kinstudio will develop their understanding of art. In 2017 we did a preview of Young Congo, inspired by the Young British. We then changed it from Young Congo to Congo Biennale in 2019. Young Congo was simply for Congolese artists in Congo and in the diaspora. We decided to expand it to a Biennale, and to invite artists from the continent to create a bigger network.

Where have you exhibited your work and were there mutual relations between you and the galleries.

V.M.B: I have exhibited and worked with Primo Marella gallery in Italy, I worked with Gallery MoMo based in South Africa for 5 years but i have ended the contact. Raz academie, In Belgium I also worked with Nomad Gallery. In 2013 I exhibited at the London Art fair, three times at the 1.54 in October 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Next year the theme for Congo Biennale 2021 is ‘Les Souffle Des Ancetres or in english The Breath of the Ancestors will take place from September to October 2021. At the moment we are looking for artists to send their application form via Congobiennale.art to participate in the exhibition.

From Kinstudio to Congo Biennale – Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo – © Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo, “Global Conflict”, installation, Amsterdam/Rijksakademie 2009

Educations
2008 – 2009 Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten researcher in Art/Science, Amsterdam, NL
2006 – Academie des Beaux-Arts de kinshasa, RDC
2004 – 2005 Ecole des Arts Decoratif de Strasbourg, FR
2000 – 2003 Academie des Beaux-Arts de kinshasa, RDC
1994 – 2000 Institut des Beaux-Arts de kinshasa, RDC

Fellowships / stipends / awards
2011 – Francis Greenburger Fellowship on Managing and Mitigating Ethnic and Religious Conflict
2009 – Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
2008 – ARCADIS, Amsterdam, NL
2008 – Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
2005 – Art Moves Africa
2004 – French Ministry of Education, EGIDE

Residencies
2011 – Residence at the International Arts Center (OMI), New York, U.S.A.
2011 – Residence at the Gallery MOMO, Jouhannesburg, S.A.
2011 – Residence at the French Cultural Center, Pointe – Noire, Republic of Congo.
2010 – Brave New Worlds, (Theatre der Welt) Essen, Germany
2010 – Brave New Worlds, Guangzhou, China
2009 – Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, NL
2008 – Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, NL
2007 – Jobek park Project, Johannesburg, South Africa
2006 – 2007 Urban Scenographie, Kinshasa, RDC
2006 – Progr (Kinbejozi), Bern, Switserland
2005 – Boulev’Art Contemporary Art in the street, Cotonou, Benin
2005 – Ecole des Arts Decoratifs de Strasbourg, FR
2004 – Frensh cultural center, Kinshasa, RDC
2003 – Brazza Project, Brazzaville, Congo

Solo exhibitions Solo Exhibitions
2011 – The Gallery MOMO, Johannesbourg, S.A. curated by Monna Mokoena
2011 – The French Cultural Center, Pointe – Noire, Congo. By the curator ERIC Gerald Miclet
2010 – NOMADE ART GALLERY, Brussels in BE
2009 – French Cultural Center, Pointe Noire, Congo
2007 – Galery Pierre Hallet, Brussels, BE

Contemporary Art Fair
2011 – September, JOBURG Art Fair, Represented by MOMO Art Gallery, Johannesbourg, S.A.
2011 – Skope Art Basel, Represented by Primo Marella Gallery, Basel, Switzerland
2010 – Art Brussels, Represented by NOMADE ART GALLERY, Brussels, BE
2010 – Johannesburg Art Fair, Represented by MOMO ART GALLERY, Johannesburg
2009 – Art Brussels, Represented by NOMADE ART GALLERY, Brussels, BE
2008 – Art Brussels, Represented by The French Community from Belgium, Brussels, BE

Other Group exhibitions
2010 – Cool Art, Festival Couleur Cafe Brussels, BE
2010 – Brave New Worlds, (Theatre der Welt) Essen, GER
2010 – Accents d’ingéniosité (Bicici), by curator Yakouba konate, Abidjan, Ivory Coast
2009 – Banyan Project in Berlin, GER
2009 – Licht aan Zee AA, Kunsthal 52, by curator Georges Hanna, Den Helder, NL
2009 – I want to be famous, Moba Art gallery, Brussels, BE
2009 – Avant – premiere, Claude samuel Art gallery, paris, FR
2009 – French cultural center, pointe noire, Congo
2009 – Dialogue, De Markten, brussels, BE
2008 – Open studio, Rijksakademie Van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, NL
2007 – Kinshasa – Lubumbashi, MAMAC, Lieges, BE
2007 – Yambi project by curator, Roger pierre turine,BE : Monos Art Gallery, Lieges, BE
2007 – Centre wallonie brussels, paris, FR : Musée de Louvain –la–neuve, BE
2007 – Botanic, Brussels, BE
2007 – Jobek Park Project, Johannesburg, SA
2007 – Contemporary Art of africa in Espal, Le Mans, FR
2006 – KVS – Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg, Brussels, BE
2006 – PROGR – Zentrum Fur Kulturproduktion, French cultural Center, Bern, CH
2005 – Boulev’Art Contemporary Art in the street, Cotonou, Benin
2003 – Brazza project, Brazzaville, Congo
2004 – Young kinoise creation, French cultural center, Kinshasa, RDC
2003 – Brazza project, Brazzaville, Congo
2003 – Kin wenze wenze, Ecole des beaux – arts de kinshasa, RDC
2001 – Jua – kali, kinshasa, D.R.Congo
2001 – Caritas, Brussels, BE
2001 – South center, cap – town, SA : Academie des beaux – arts de Kinshasa
2000 – Academie des beaux – arts de kinshasa, RDC
2000 – Cultural center Boboto, Kinshasa, RDC
2000 – Academie des beaux – arts de Kinshasa

Other Activities
2009 – Zoom project in KVS – Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg, Brussels, BE
2009 – International colloquium “Culture and creativity as vectors of Development”, Brussels, BE
2006 – Scenography of the theatrical part 20 years and then
2006 – Drawing in the book Congo mots pour maux by bestine kazadi ditabala, 2006, Paris, FR
2005 – Realization of a wall painting, atelier du plateau, Paris, FR
2004 – Theatre project Roberto zucco, french cultural center, Kinshasa, DRC
2003 – seminar workshop of kinshasa, meet artist of central africa at the french cultural center, Kinshasa, DRC

Workshops
2005 – Workshop about scenography, Academie des beaux – arts de Kinshasa, DRC
2005 – Workshop about scenography, Academie des beaux – arts de Kinshasa, DRC
2004 – Workshop about scenography, Academie des beaux – arts de Kinshasa, DRC
2004 – Workshop studio Malembe Maa, CWB, Kinshasa, DRC

Performances
2009 – French Cultural Center, Pointe Noire, Congo
2007 – Election in DRCongo, Center wallonie Brussels, Paris, FR
2007 – Body in transfer, musee de louvain–la–neuve, BE
2007 – Congo under perfusion, Urban scenography, Kinshasa, DRC
2007 – Congo under perfusion, Botanique, Brussels, BE
2007 – Body of sick congo, Urban scenography, Kinshasa, DRC
2005 – Body and power, Ecole des arts decoratifs, Strasbourg, FR
2005 – Untitle, Group art 3, Contemporary art gallery, Ecole des arts decoratifs, Strasbourg, FR
2005 – Africa of war, Ecole des arts decoratifs, Strasbourg, FR

Bibliography Catalogues– AFRIQUE, ASSUME ART POSITION!, Project by Primo Giovanni Marella, Curated by Yakouba Konaté: 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107
– Primo Marella Gallery, Milan, IT Edition MOLESKINE ( November, 2010 )
– Les Arts du Congo D’hier nos a jours by roger pierre turine. Page 118,119,120, 121, 122,123,124,125,126,127
– Edition La Renaissance du Livre 2007, Brussels, BE
– Catalogue, Theater der Zeit, Page 17,18,19,20, Essen, Germany Catalogue
– Art Brussels 2009. Catalogue of exhibition in Saint-Denis, Reunion: Rouge Gorge N 10: Page 49,50,51 – November 2009
– Catalogue of exhibition, Kinshasa – Lubumbashi, Page 99,100,101, 102, 103. MAMAC, Lieges, BE, 2007
– Catalogue of exhibition Accents d’ingéniosité : Bicici , Page 10 Abidjan, Ivory coast, May-Jun 2010

Magazines
– Art Antiques Auctions, Number 410, Page 17, jun, july 2010 Brussels, BE
– BE Art Antiques Auctions, Number 376, Page 14, jun 2006 Brussels, BE
– Afriscope, september, october 2007, N 02 page 16, 17
– Afrik’Arts august 2007, N 06 – page 20, 21, 33
– Le magazine des arts visuals africa visual arts What exhibition venues?
– Culturesfrance, SUD, Number 01, page 03, january, April 2007
– Articles (selection) La libre Belgique: arts libre, Number 26, page 14,15, jun, july 2010
– La libre Belgique: arts libre, Number 17, page 1, 3 : 15-21, may 2009
– La libre Belgique: arts libre, Number 14, page 4, 24-29, april 2009
– La libre Belgique, page, 24 of october 2007 LE VIF l’express
– Edition LUC PIRE, page, 2/2 , 21 of september 2007

Illustrations
– Congo Mots pour maux , edition L’harmattan, paris, FR. 2006

Private collections (selection)– Collection George Arthur Forrest, BE
– Collection Jacques Azibert, FR
– Collection Firou A., Los Angeles, USA
– Jean- francois poilpre, FR
– Forrest Fondation, Sandra Duquenoy, FR
– Nicolas boisser, FR, CH
– Theo Fafieanie, NL
– Florinda Barca, CH

Follow Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo on Facebook, Instagram, and his website.

Horcelie Sinda Wa Mbongo is currently reading her Masters in Contemporary art at Sotheby's Institute of Art. Holds a BA from Cheslsea College of Arts and FA at Central Saint Martins. She will be leading a second Campaign on HIV testing and reproductive health in Ghana & Congo for 2 months.
Close
Sign in
Close
Cart (0)

Cart is empty No products in the cart.



Currency


Change Pricing Plan

We recommend you check the details of Pricing Plans before changing. Click Here



EUR12365 daysPackage2 regular & 0 featured listings



EUR99365 daysPackage12 regular & 12 featured listings



EUR207365 daysPackage60 regular & 60 featured listings