Edson Chagas

Edson Chagas is an African contemporary photographer. Edson Chagas was born in 1977 in Luanda, Angola, where he still lives and works making him one of the iconic African Contemporary Artists who work from Africa. He has a degree in photojournalism from the London College of Communication and studied documentary photography at the University of Wales, Newport.

Chagas represented Angola at the country’s first Venice Biennale national pavilion in 2013. He won the biennial’s top prize, the Golden Lion for best national pavilion. The jury praised his showing of the “irreconcilability and complexity of site”. Numerous international exhibitions, i.e. at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, ICA Institute of Contemporary Art, London, and Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt. A selection of Found Not Taken was presented at the Angolan Pavilion of the 55th Venice Biennale and was awarded the Golden Lion. In 2015 the photo book of the same name was published by Kehrer Verlag.

Select Solo exhibitions

 Found Not Taken, Scrap Metal Gallery, Toronto, Canada (2015); Disguise: Masks and Global African Art, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, USA (2015); Making Africa, A Continent of Contemporary Design Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain (2015); Edson Chagas / Ibrahim Mahama, Apalazzo Gallery, Brescia, Italy (2015); Novo Banco Photo Award 2015, Museu Colecao Berardo, Lisbon, Portugal (2015).

Select Group exhibitions

Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015 at MOMA The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (2015), The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists at Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC, USA (2015); Landscapes at A Palazzo Gallery in Brescia, Italy (2013); SP-Arte, São Paulo, Brazil (2011); the MABAXA project in Luanda, Angola and RAVY – Rencontre d’Arts Visuels, in Yaoundé, Cameroon (2012); 2nd Luanda Triennial, Angola (2010).


Solo exhibition, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa.


Novo Banco Photo Award 2015, Museu Colecao Berardo, Lisbon, Portugal.

Found Not Taken, Scrap Metal Gallery, Toronto, Canada.


Found Not Taken / Tipo Passe, Stevenson, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Tipo Passe, Instituto Camões, Centro Cultural Português, Luanda, Angola.

Shifting Africa, Mediations Biennale Poznan, Poland.

Found Not Taken, Belfast Exposed Photography, Belfast, Northern Island.


Luanda, Encyclopedic City, Palazzo Cini, Angolan Pavilion, 55th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy.

Edson Chagas, A Palazzo Gallery, Brescia, Italy.

Memorial Agostinho Neto, Luanda, Angola.

Landscapes, A Palazzo Gallery, Brescia, Italy.


Zukunftsentwickler/Future Makers, Landes Museum, Bonn, Germany.

Live Festival, Lagos, Nigeria.

RAVY-International Visual Arts Festival, Yaoundé, Cameroon.


SP Arte & SOSO Arte Contemporânea Africana, São Paulo.

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