Olafur Eliasson & Sammy Baloji

Mentor & Protégé, Visual arts

For photographer Sammy Baloji, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the experience of working with Olafur Eliasson promises to open his eyes to other forms of artistic expression. “I am already inspired simply by seeing his studio,” he says.

Olafur Eliasson

The mentor

Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson’s works span photography, installation, sculpture and film. Eliasson represented Denmark at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003 and later that year installed The weather project at Tate Modern, London. Projects in public spaces include The New York City Waterfalls, 2008. Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre, for which Eliasson created the façade in collaboration with Henning Larsen Architects, was awarded the Mies van der Rohe Award 2013. In 2009, as a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts, Eliasson founded the Institut für Raumexperimente (Institute for Spatial Experiments).

Sammy Baloji

The protégé

Using photography as a tool of observation to write on his society, Congolese artist and photographer Sammy Baloji, 35, has been widely exhibited in Europe, the US, and Africa. He works between Belgium and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he creates haunting photomontages of his homeland. Winner of the Prix Afrique en création (2007), the Prince Claus Award (2009), and the Spiegel Prize (2012), Baloji founded the Lubumbashi Biennale and the Picha Art Centre.