Edson Chagas was born in Luanda, Angola where he currently lives and works.
In 1999, he attended Portugal’s Centro Comunitário de Arcena where he completed a three-month course in photography and audio. In 2002, Chagas successfully finished his studies in photography, art, and photojournalism at the Escola Técnica de Imagem e Comunicação. He later went on to do a FdA degree in Photojournalism at the University of Arts in London (2005 – 2007). In the following year, Chagas studied documentary photography at the University of Wales in Newport (South Wales: 2007 -2008).
Chagas’ work considers the sociocultural context within contemporary cities looking specifically at consumerist culture and identity politics, pointing towards a broader dialogue between time and space.
Notable solo exhibitions include the site-specific exhibition Found Not Taken, held at the Kunst Haus Wien, Museum Hundertwasser (Vienna: 2016); Instituto CamÃµes – Centro Cultural PortuguÃªs, (Luanda: 2014); Belfast Exposed Photography, (Belfast: 2014); and Memorial Agostinho Neto, (Luanda: 2013).
Notable group exhibitions include Recent Histories – New African Photography (Walther Collection, Ulm: 2017); Disguise: Masks and Global African Art (Seattle Art Museum and other venues (2015-16); Ocean of Images, the New Photography (Museum of Modern Art, New York: 2015); The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists (MMK Frankfurt, the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC, and other venues (2014-15); Journal (Institute of Contemporary Arts, London: 2014); NO FLY ZONE, Unlimited Mileage (Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon: 2013); Transit (OCA, São Paulo: 2013); RAVY Visual Arts Festival (Yaoundé: 2012);Future-makers (LVR-Landes Museum, Bonn: 2012); and the second Luanda Triennial (2010).
In 2013, his Found Not Taken series was exhibited as part of the Angolan Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, where it won the Golden Lion for the best national pavilion. In 2015, Chagas was shortlisted as one of three artists for the 11th Novo Banco Photo Award, and his work was showcased in an exhibition at the Museu Coleção Berardo in Lisbon.