Born in 1991 in Willemstad, Curaçao
Lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Born and raised in Curaçao, visual artist Gilleam Trapenberg (b. 1991) now lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Orbiting his homeland, his creative projects look closely at the fabric of Curaçao’s social landscape, probing at the island’s many paradoxes. He searches beneath the portrayals and tropes of Caribbean life that dominate (Western) media cycles, using the camera to create necessary counter-images.

Occasionally, though, Trapenberg is himself seduced by the allure of the exported picture- postcard; on European shores, nostalgia and longing take hold, perspectives drift, and memories of home are easily romanticised. For the artist, this experience of a perpetual limbo between two distinct places – connected by the fraught legacies of colonialism, enduring flows of goods and people, or even the mass tourism industry – is a growing focal point of his work.

A graduate of The Hague’s Royal Academy of Art, Trapenberg first moved to the Netherlands at 19 years old. In the years since, his works have been exhibited at institutions such as Foam Photography Museum and Stedelik Museum Amsterdam, whilst his first photobook – Big Papi – was published in 2017. He was the 2020 recipient of Foam’s Florentine Riem Vis grant and is one of five shortlisted artists for the Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize 2023. The shortlisted works will soon be exhibited at London’s National Portrait Gallery.



  • 2017 BA Photography at KABK, The Hague
  • 2015 Researchlab KABK, The Hague
    Internship Stefan Ruiz, New York City

Solo exhibitions

  • 2023 Currents, Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam
    Galeria Taler Goria, Havana, Cuba
    Baken Schiermonnikoog IV, Hi-Lo, Nos Pais by Gilleam Trapenberg
  • 2021 Unbé t’aweró, Foam Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Selected group exhibitions

  • 2023Fotomuseum Den Haag, The Netherlands, School. Verliefd, Verveeld, Verslapen
    Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, The Netherlands, Frida Hunziker-Een reis naar Curaçao
    Chengdu Fusun Art Center, Chengdu, China, NL Imagined
    Three Shadows Photography Center, Xiamen, China, NL Imagined
    Three Shadows Photography Center, Beijing, China, NL Imagined
  • 2022Shanghai Center of Photography, Shanghai, China, NL ImaginedUnfair 2022, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 2021 Art Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Prospects & Concepts 2021
    Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Gallery of Honour of Dutch Photography
  • 2020 Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, The Presence of Absence, Municipal Art Acquisitions 2020
    UNFAIR 2020, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 2017 Paris College of Art, Paris, France, Blurring The Lines
    FOTODOK. Utrecht, The Netherlands, Beyond Us and Them
    Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, VOV
    Istanbul Photobook Festival, Istanbul, Turkey, My Name In 100 Colophons
    LhGWR,  Den Haag, The Netherlands, My Name In 100 Colophons

  • 2016 Rotterdam Contemporary Art Fair, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, The Safest Neighbourhood
  • 2015 UNSEEN 2015, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Mt. Figure #3