I am a Belgian photographer (born in 1975) living and working in Luxembourg. My goal is to explore how humans build and live their dreams, fantasies or hopes in search of a sometimes utopian ideal.

Contact: seb@sebweb.org

Philippe Marczewski wrote a beautiful text about my work published by FOMU Antwerp in .tiff 2021 magazine (the original version in French is here):

What does reality look like when it is photographed from its own perimeter, in the uncanny zone between certainty, objectivity and dreams, where an idealised version of the world has infiltrated? Sébastien Cuvelier’s photography may well provide the answer.

In his images, what is real always seems larger than it actually is. The photographs appear to have passed through a fantasy filter, to be projected from a dimension where other rules apply. The sensation is similar to the one felt in the twilight zone between wakefulness and sleep, when ambiguous landscapes are crossed in what is not quite a dream.

It is not unusual to feel a little uncomfortable when looking at his photographs. To have the sense that one is intruding on someone else’s secret, imaginary territory. Perhaps it’s because the people, places and objects are made unfamiliar by certain details, yet seem a part of daily life. A superficial mundanity, one filled with residential blocks, interiors decorated with ostentatious luxury, ordinary streets and gardens. And yet, our usual references are rendered obsolete.

The colours, the blurring, the inconsistencies: everything conspires to make us doubt that these photographs portray what really exists.

Sébastien Cuvelier appears to have found the way to an observation room that provides a mysterious and disturbing view of the human desire to become a utopian incarnation of itself.

Selected solo shows

  • Paradise City, Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi, 2022-2023
  • Paradise City, Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles, 2021
  • Paradise City, centre d’art Nei Liicht, Dudelange, 2018
  • Eunma Town, Galerie Nosbaum & Reding, Luxembourg, 2015
  • Gypsy Queens, Galeria Sztuki Współczesnej BWA, Katowice, 2015
  • Panginoon, Gallerie Satellite, BIP Liège, 2014
  • Gypsy Queens, Atelier 340 Muzeum, Brussels, 2014
  • Gypsy Queens, Galerie Nosbaum & Reding, Luxembourg, 2013

  • Selected group shows

  • Paradise City, Imago Lisboa, Lisbon, 2021
  • Paradise City, .tiff, FOMU, Antwerp, 2021
  • Paradise City, Bienne Photography Festival, Biel/Bienne, 2021
  • Paradise City, Visage(s) d'Europe, EUNIC/Fetart, Paris, 2021
  • hi/stories, mateneen, Cercle Cité, Luxembourg, 2020
  • Paradise City, Les Boutographies, Montpellier, 2019
  • Eunma Town, European Month of Photography, Luxembourg, 2019
  • Kuck Elei, Flux Feelings, Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, 2017
  • Instant Star, 3 Songs No Flash, CarréRotondes, Luxembourg, 2014
  • Panginoon, Rencontres photographiques d'Arlon, 2012

  • Personal photobooks

  • Paradise City, GOST Books, 2020
  • Eunma Town, self-published, 2015
  • Instant Star, self-published, 2014
  • Gypsy Queens, Husson editions, 2013

  • Commissioned photobooks

  • hi/stories, mateneen, Oeuvre de Secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte, 2020
  • Kuck Elei, Banque de Luxembourg, 2016

  • Permanent collections

  • Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi
  • Centre national de l’audiovisuel, Dudelange
  • Ville de Dudelange
  • Museum Volkenkunde, Leiden
  • Banque de Luxembourg, Luxembourg

  • Selected awards

  • Selected for Futures platform, 2021
  • Selected for .tiff platform, FOMU Antwerp, 2021
  • Finalist, Lens Culture Journeys, 2020
  • Honorable mention from the jury, Les Boutographies, 2019
  • Réponses Photo award, Les Boutographies, 2019
  • Les Jours award, Les Boutographies, 2019
  • Public prize, Les Boutographies, 2019
  • Selected for Eddie Adams Workshop XXX, New York, 2017
  • Shortlisted, Kassel Fotobook Dummy Award, 2016
  • Shortlisted, LensCulture photobooks of the year, 2016
  • Shortlisted, Bourse du Talent, 2014 & 2016
  • Winner, Centre National de l’Audiovisuel grant, Dudelange, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2019

  • Selected press and publications

    Paradise City
  • Fisheye Magazine, March 2022 | L'Iran en héritage
  • Artdoc Photography Magazine, August 2021 | Where is Paradise?
  • American Suburb X, June 2021 | Paradise City
  • Photographic Museum of Humanity, May 2021 | A nuanced portrait of Iran
  • Contemporary Lynx, April 2021 | A respite from lockdown
  • Source, Spring 2021
  • .tiff magazine, FOMU, Mar 2021
  • GUP, Feb 2021 | Paradise City book review
  • Fisheye, Jan 2021
  • PHOTO magazine, Jan 2021
  • Paperjam, Jan 2021 | Le nouveau paradis photo de Sébastien Cuvelier
  • Creative Review, Oct 2020 | Sébastien Cuvelier’s photos contrast utopia and reality in Iran
  • Aesthetica, Oct 2020 | Paradise City
  • Shutterhub, Oct 2020 | Photobook favourites
  • Creative Boom, Oct 2020 | Paradise City: Photographs by Sébastien Cuvelier show the changing shape of Iran following its revolution
  • Huck Magazine, Sep 2020 | A nostalgic and evocative portrait of modern Iran
  • Réponses Photo, Sep 2020 | Iran, passé et présent
  • GUP, Aug 2020 | Paradise City
  • Polka, Jul 2020 | Songe d'un Eden perdu
  • 9 Lives, Jun 2020 | L’Iran dans le viseur de Sébastien Cuvelier aux éditions Gost
  • Plain Magazine, Sep 2019 | In Iran, Sébastien Cuvelier unearths different versions of paradise
  • Réponses Photo, Jun 2019 | Paradise City portfolio & interview
  • Woxx, May 2019 | Regards d'ailleurs et d'ici | pdf
  • Actu.fr, May 2019 | Boutographies de Montpellier : Sébastien Cuvelier fait un festival
  • Fisheye magazine, May 2019 | 19e édition des Boutographies
  • Réponses Photo, May 2019 | Les Boutographies annoncent les deux lauréats de cette 19e édition
  • En Revenant de l'Expo, May 2019 | Boutographies 2019 au Pavillon Populaire, Montpellier
  • Le Midi-Libre, May 2019 | Les "Bouto" au coeur de l'Europe
  • Le Quotidien, May 2018 | La quête du paradis
  • Luxembourger Wort, May 2018 | A chacun son paradis

  • Eunma Town
  • Littor, Feb 2017 | Littor(릿터)4호
  • M Le Monde, Jan 2017 | Cité étudiante | Eunma Town, le très cher quartier de Séoul
  • Dérivations, Sep 2016 | Eunma Town
  • Urbanautica, Apr 2016 | Eunma Town
  • Polka, Mar 2016 | Eunma Town
  • SBS, Feb 2016 | web
  • Lensculture, Jan 2016 | Photobooks of the Year, Part II: 24 Personal Favorites
  • Actuphoto, Dec 2015 | Eunma Town, le rêve coréen 100% béton
  • Kyunghyang Shinmun, Nov 2015 | [사진 속으로]은마 아파트
  • Paperjam, Sep 2015 | Raconter l'histoire du rêve coréen
  • Archiduc, Sep 2015 | Le rêve coréen de Sébastien Cuvelier
  • Bold, Sep 2015 | Eunma Town

  • Gypsy Queens
  • Slate, Jan 2016 | Inside the Fabulous Homes of “Gypsy Queens”
  • Click.ro, Jan 2016 | Casele luxoase ale ţiganilor din România, prin ochii unui străin
  • Der Greif, Apr 2014 | Gypsy Queens
  • Nuage/Soleil, Apr 2014 | Riches et Roms
  • Actuphoto, Jan 2014 | Gypsy Queens, le royaume de Sébastien Cuvelier aux éditions Husson
  • Luxemburger Wort, Sep 2013 | Mémoire intime et Roms riches
  • d'Lëtzebuerger Land, Sep 2013 | Tablo | Queens of Buzescu | Queens of Buzescu (web)
  • Zeitung vum Lëtzebuerger Vollek, Sep 2013 | Expo Nosbaum Reding

  • Instant Star
  • Goûte Mes Disques (BE), Oct 2014 | Instant Star, ou la musique en mode Polaroid
  • d'Lëtzebuerger Land (LU), Aug 2014 | Fading In / Fading Out
  • Le Jeudi (LU), Aug 2014 | Interprétations d'une contrainte
  • La Meuse (BE), Aug 2014 | Une expo et un livre

  • Panginoon
  • Galerie Satellite, 2022 | 10 ans, 50 photographes
  • Budhi, Ateneo de Manila University, 2010