Patrick Bongoy

Born

1980. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

LOTE

French

Lives & Works

Cape Town, South Africa

About

Patrick Bongoy was born in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1980. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa and moved to South Africa in 2013. Based in Cape Town, Bongoy has built a multi-disciplinary practice whose central feature is his industrious and highly textural reuse of rubber from the inner tubes of tyres.

Bongoy’s work to date has largely reinterpreted the ongoing human and environmental erosion, violent economic extraction, forced migration and exploitation in his native DRC. Mixing rubber with other waste materials such as hessian sacking, industrial packaging and textiles, he cuts and weaves these together to create complex, layered sculptures and three-dimensional reliefs. His painstaking process draws on traditional basket-making skills while referencing the physical labour that defines day-to-day life in the DRC.

He has held various other solo shows and has also taken part in multiple group exhibitions and fairs such as 1-54 Contemporary Art Fair in London, Contemporary Istanbul, Lisboa Art Fair, Expo Chicago, Untitled Art and Investec Cape Town Art Fair. In 2024, one of his sculptural reliefs was shortlisted for the LOEWE Foundation Craft Prize. His work can be found in the collections of the Harn Museum of Art in Florida, IZIKO South African National Gallery and UNISA Art Gallery.

Artist Statement

Patrick Bongoy has cultivated a distinct relationship with his chosen medium. The Congolese artist works predominantly with the rubber inner tubes of tyres and other waste materials such as hessian sacking, industrial packaging, found objects and textile offcuts. Through his arduous weaving, plaiting, braiding, cutting and stitching, Bongoy has honed a unique sculptural vocabulary. This undulating, multi-layered, textural language speaks to the capacity of contemporary craft to rework, reimagine and rewrite meaning. Bongoy’s practice largely reinterprets the ongoing human and environmental erosion, violent economic extraction, forced migration and exploitation in his native DRC. The making of his complex, layered sculptures and immense three-dimensional reliefs draws on traditional basket-making skills, while referencing the physical labour that defines day-to-day life in the country.

Bongoy’s hand offers the usually inert, harsh, light-absorbent material of rubber, an unexpected fragility and joy. This material transformation speaks to a broader intent at the core of his practice: the transmutation of pain toward hope, of a history of violence toward liberation of the mind, of reinvigorating what is discarded into an object that is both generative and abundant.

Acknowledgements & Collaborators

Represented by Southern Guild, Cape Town

Supported by IOTA24 Ambassadors.

Exhibiting at

Fremantle Arts Centre

FAC is a multi-arts organisation based in a historic building complex in Fremantle, Western Australia.

FAC is an IOTA24 Major Exhibition Partner.

Address

1 Finnerty Street, Fremantle