Portrait of photographer Antoine Tempé by Jean Dominique Burton
Antoine Tempé – © Jean Dominique Burton

Currently living and working in Dakar, Senegal, Antoine Tempé is a photographer, primarily interested in documenting the contemporary cultures of the African continent, through portraiture and photojournalism.

French-born, Antoine moved to New York in the mid-80s, where he became instantly fascinated by the multicultural character of the city. In the ’90s, after first contemplating a career in dance, he started taking photographs. Encouraged by regular publications in the French PHOTO and his initial success documenting the New York nightlife for European magazines, he began photographing dancers in his studio. He was soon working with Complexions Contemporary Ballet and other New York based dance companies, both on commercial and personal projects, with his photographs appearing in American and European publications.

In the year 2000, Antoine embarked on a one-year photographic journey through West Africa and Madagascar. In Antananarivo, at the International Choreographic Encounters of Africa and the Indian Ocean he was blown away by his first encounter with African contemporary dance; he returned to the US with an enhanced passion for Africa and its contemporary creative dance. This and subsequent extended stays on the continent lay the foundation for several bodies of work, which have been exhibited worldwide, among other places; at the African Photography Biennial in Bamako, Mali (2007); at the Centre national de la danse in Paris (2008); at Fondation Zinsou in Cotonou, Benin (2011); at the African Contemporary Art Biennial in Dakar, Senegal (2012, 2016); at LagosPhoto in Nigeria (2015); at the Rencontres d’Arles (2016); at Addis Foto Fest in Ethiopia (2016).

Since then he has split his time between Paris, West Africa, Brazil and New York, advancing his personal artistic projects while shooting commercial assignments, covering cultural festivals and teaching photography workshops.

In 2008, in collaboration with choreographer Salia Sanou, Antoine Tempé published the book Afrique, danse contemporaine (Éditions Cercle d’Art/Centre National de la Danse).