Bonaventure Ndikung to be the first curator of OCAD U’s new International Curatorial Residency

July 25, 2019News Releases

Dr. Bonaventure Ndikung; photo by Abrie Fourie

PIA is a funder of the program which creates international exposure for Canadian creators

After an extensive search of candidates internationally, OCAD University has selected Berlin-based curator and biotechnologist Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, PhD, as the first curator of its International Curators Residency (ICR) program. The ambitious new program, supported with a grant from Partners in Art, will be the largest of its kind in Canada. The program will stimulate curatorial research and excellence through an original exhibition at OCAD U’s flagship professional gallery, Onsite Gallery. Curated by Dr. Ndikung, the exhibition will then travel internationally to promote Canadian creators abroad. The ICR program will also create educational opportunities for the OCAD U community and the public, introducing innovative curatorial methods while advancing cultural dialogue on contemporary curatorial practice. 

“We are delighted to announce the selection of Dr. Ndikung as OCAD U’s first curator of our exciting, new International Curatorial Residency,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University. “The opportunity to interact closely with innovative international curators will enhance the learning experience for OCAD U students and our community while heightening international awareness of Toronto as a vibrant contemporary art community. It will build opportunities abroad for Toronto artists. We must take our talent out to the world.”

Born in Yaoundé, Cameroon, Dr. Ndikung is an independent curator, author and biotechnologist, and is the founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary Berlin. He was curator-at-large for Documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel, and guest curator of the 2018 Dak’Art Biennale in Senegal. Together with the Miracle Workers Collective, he is the curator of the Finland Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019. Dr. Ndikung is currently guest professor in curatorial studies and sound art at the Städelschule in Frankfurt; artistic director of the 12th Rencontres de Bamako, a biennale for African photography, 2019; as well as artistic director of Sonsbeek 2020, a quadrennial contemporary art exhibition in Arnhem, the Netherlands.

Dr. Ndikung was selected from a shortlist of five international curators by OCAD U’s Curatorial Advisory Committee to develop his project titled, “Sonic by Nature  ̶ The Sonorous in Curatorial Practices,” which explores sonority and auditory phenomena in a world saturated with images. 

The three-phase program will begin in January 2020, with the arrival of Dr. Ndikung for his extended residency at OCAD U. The second phase will be the presentation of an original exhibition at Onsite Gallery in early 2022, curated by Dr. Ndikung. In the third phase, the exhibition will tour internationally to a venue that will be announced at the opening of the exhibition in Toronto. 

Partners in Art will support OCAD U on phases one and three. “We are thrilled to be supporting OCAD U in its first cultural residency program. Dr. Ndikung’s international experience and vision will be an incredible asset for Toronto’s multicultural landscape and will also help promote the work of Canadian artists globally,” said Antonella Vergati, Co-President of Partners in Art.  

While in Toronto, Dr. Ndikung will participate in multiple engagements that will include visits with OCAD U classes, local studios, artists and designers, as well as public talks and dialogue with multiple cultural leaders. The program will also include symposia, workshops and publications in order to support and extend scholarly knowledge on contemporary curatorial practices in art, design and new media. 

About OCAD University
OCAD University ( ) is Canada’s university of the imagination. Founded in 1876, the university is dedicated to art, design and digital media education, practice and research, and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines.

About Partners in Art
Partners in Art (PIA) is a volunteer-led charitable organization that funds contemporary art projects across Canada and around the world. Since 2002, the Toronto-based PIA has raised over $4.7 million and supported 80 projects. PIA collaborates with Canadian curators, arts organizations and museums to fund projects featuring contemporary artists with challenging works and thoughtful perspectives. For more information visit

For more information, please contact:

Natalie Pavlenko
Strategic Communications Officer, OCAD University
416-977-6000 Ext. 475

Photo: Abrie Fourie