Photo of Patrick Bongoy

Patrick Bongoy

b. 1980 Kinshasa, DR Congo, currently lives and works in Cape Town

Patrick Bongoy’s sculptural works use discarded materials, such as rubber and industrial packaging, to comment on the degradation of society and its natural resources.

My work speaks in response to the global reality of literal and figurative environmental pollution. This encompasses the entire spectrum from the erosion of economic viability for people, socio- cultural decay impacting on community and individual behaviour and natural rural and urban landscape.

I draw on the history of my roots in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as the irony of contemporary urban degradation masked as development.

Through the recovery of waste materials such as inner tubes from vehicle tyres, industrial packaging and textiles combined with my use of paint and African fabric, I repurpose and reinterpret what others discard. Beyond the intentional recycling element of this process, the visual concepts I explore surface a range of the pertinent issues. Additional sculpted objects are superimposed on these layered backgrounds, which I create as a foundational canvas. This is also a visual referencing of some of the many laborious tasks undertaken by women in my country, in order to make ends meet.

I try to understand how the deterioration of natural and urban settings mirrors the visible rotting, displayed in the behaviour and habits of the population. Deprivation evidently continues to recreate further misery and desperation.

Although my work reflects a kind of beauty, it also describes the destruction of a place and a people where ethical values have been poisoned or fallen away, infecting human morality and dignity. The aftermath of several violent conflicts has created a nightmarish atmosphere where people relive those moments in an extreme state of vulnerability and resignation to this state of affairs.

My painted figures, always in silhouette, with their deformed limbs and precarious stances, twist and turn in such spaces. They evoke a sense of uncontrolled or dynamic movement captured in a disjointed moment, as if their bodies are mid-execution of a questionable act.
However, the internal versus external appearances and perspectives – what is seen in contrast to what is understood, becomes the site of re-imagination and unforeseen possibilities.

Art Education

2009 Degree in Fine Arts, Academy of Fine Arts, Kinshasa
2005 State diploma (equivalent to the baccalaureate), Institute of Fine Arts Kinshasa

Solo Exhibitions

2017 Where are we? Where are we going?, Ebony/Curated, Cape Town
2012 BA Paper Collection, Cultural Center Muikka Theatre, Kinshasa
2012 BINGOTO, SADI collective space, Kinshasa

Group Exhibitions

2017 1.54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London, UK
2017 Feast your Eyes, Nandos UK, Soho, London
2017 Ebony/Curated booth, Art Africa Fair, Cape Town
2016 What is the matter, Ebony/Curated, Cape Town
2016 That Art Fair, Cape Town
2015 Ebony/Curated, Franschoek, Cape Town
2015 Présence Congolaise, Alliance Française, Cape Town
2013 Fashion show, Central library, Cape Town
2012 Plural Dimension, Center Wallonia-Brussels, Brussels, Belgium

Workshops and Performances

2013 Article 15, performance (with Maurice Mbikayi), Symposium, University of Cape Town
2012 Creating paper clothing for BA Paper Collection, Cultural Center Muikka Theatre, Kinshasa
2012 Volunteer for a creative workshop with disadvantaged children and child victims of war, foundation star of Congo (FONECO), SADI collective space, Kinshasa
2012 Workshop for the play Westerly wind (with writer & filmmaker Kap’s Kapambu), SADI collective space, Kinshasa
2012 Photography workshop with Roël Jacobs, Kinshasa Académie of fine art
2011 The awakening of consciousness, performance, 24 November street, Kinshasa
2011 Performance with SADI collective, crossroads Mount Arts, SADI collective space, Kinshasa
2011 Residency, SADI collective space, Kinshasa


Les dépêches de Brazzaville n*1478 p.10 Fifteen paintings done after a residence at the intersection of public space SADI be discovered in the first solo exhibition of the young artist visual arts at Mount
La tempête des tropiques n*4385 p.12 Works of arts presentations of Patrick Bongoy in fair restitution: BI Ngoto
Alerte-plus n*1723 p.5 Zoom BINGOTO, artworks of artist Patrick Bongoy collective SADI


Nandos, UK and South Africa
SADI Collectif, DR Congo