The Fundação Biennale de São Paulo announced that Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung will be the chief curator of the 36th São Paulo Biennale, to be held during the second half of 2025.


Born in 1977 in Yaoundé, Cameroon, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung is a leading figure on the global contemporary art scene. His unique interdisciplinary trajectory combines institutional construction as practice, curatorial praxis with an emphasis on performativity, sound, installation and visual arts, critical theory and discourse with an academic background in medical biotechnology and biophysics. Ndikung's commitment to the intersection of art and science, along with his innovative vision, culminated in his appointment as director and chief curator of Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) Berlin from January 2023, following his tenure as founding director of SAVVY Contemporary. Ndikung is also a professor at the Weißensee Academy of Art in Berlin.


“To say that I am happy to be appointed Chief Curator of the São Paulo Biennale would be an understatement. I am excited, honored and humbled to embark in this journey with a team of co-curators and the brilliant team of the São Paulo Biennale led by the foundation's president, Andrea Pinheiro. The Biennale de São Paulo is not only one of the oldest and most important biennials in the world, but as one of the few biennales with free admission, it has proven over the past 73 years to be an event of and for the people. With its innovative exhibitions, public and pedagogical programs, the São Paulo Biennale has brought art to diverse communities and demographics. Despite the challenges faced by biennales around the world, they still serve as important barometers for measuring sociopolitical pressures in the world. The São Paulo Biennial seems to me to be a seismograph that not only records the various tremors the world is experiencing socioeconomically, geopolitically and environmentally, but these records also provide us with the possibilities of shaping a more equitable and humane future for all animate and inanimate beings on this planet. I hope not only to continue my long-term research in Abya Yala in general and in Brazil in particular, but also to connect my current practices as a director, pedagogue and curator across geographies,” says Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung.


The career of Buenaventura Soh Bejeng Ndikung

Ndikung moved to Berlin, Germany, in 1997 where he studied at the Technical University of Berlin (TU), did a PhD in Medical Biotechnology from the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf/TU Berlin and a postdoc in biophysics from the Université de Montpellier, France. His scientific expertise is intertwined with his commitment to contemporary art, and he stands out as an innovative curator and prolific writer.


As founding director of SAVVY Contemporary (Berlin, Germany), Ndikung goes beyond the conventional boundaries of an exhibition space. His approach challenges traditionally established concepts, making SAVVY Contemporary a unique discursive platform for exhibitions, performances and events.


Ndikung has worked as a curator at world-renowned events, including documenta 14 (Kassel, Germany/Athens, Greece), Dak'Art: African Biennale of Contemporary Art (Senegal) and the Venice Biennale (Italy), where he co-curated the Finnish Pavilion in 2019 and was a member of the jury in 2022. His participation in the curatorship of Performeum at the Wiener Festwochen (Austria) in 2017 and his appointment as artistic director of sonsbeek20->24 in the Netherlands, in addition to his artistic direction of the Bamako Encounters - African Biennale of Photography in 2019 and 2022, highlights his global presence.


Recognized for his contributions, Ndikung received the Berlin Order of Merit in October 2020, honoring a decade of SAVVY Contemporary's work and its crucial role in Berlin's cultural scene.

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