Arjen de Leeuw's work often positions itself at the intersection of impossibility, destiny and limitation. His films tread the line between fiction and reality, to show us a world filled with the tragic and absurd.
We are witness to a control room that regulates a volcano, a woman with memory loss in a melting landscape, an architect positioned next to an anthill - each creating an isolated space where meanings can shift.

de Leeuw often uses nature as a mirror of our limits as human beings, playfully exploring the hubris that we can control things larger than us. His films use characters whose fervency is revealed in situations where options are non-existent, creating space for tensions and unanticipated possibilities to emerge.

de Leeuw combines his background in sculpture with his experience in set-making and costume design to link the imagination with controlled environments. Theatrical characters lend his films a sense of the unexpected as an entry point into reality, creating a freedom that provides a more fascinating insight than straight fact.


Arjen de Leeuw was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in 1972, where he still lives and works. He graduated from the Royal Academy of the Arts in The Hague in 1995. While his background is in sculpture, his focus has gradually shifted towards the moving image. His work has been exhibited and screened both nationally and internationally at galleries including Galeria Joan Prats in Barcelona and Keith Talent Gallery in London. His work has been screened oa. at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Reine Sophia Museum in Madrid, at Istanbul Modern in Istanbul, the International Film Festival of Rotterdam and 25Fps in Zagreb. In addition to his artistic practice, he has also designed theatre sets and costumes for several experimental theatre productions.


1991-1995 Bachelor of fine arts, sculpture department, Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, Den Haag, the Netherlands
2013 Basisstipendium Mondriaanfonds
2006 Basisstipendium Fonds BKVB
2002 Basisstipendium Fonds BKVB
1996 Startstipendium Fonds BKVB

2007 Workspace 2007, Filmhuis, Den Haag, the Netherlands

2013 Glogauair , Berlin, Germany
2011 Kunsthuis Syb, Beetsterzwaag,The Netherlands
2010 the Arctic Circle Program, Spitsbergen



2019 Samples, Mexico city, Mexico
8th International Video Art Festival of Camagüey, Cuba
2018 Fiva, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2017 Signes de Nuits, in competition, Lisbon, Portugal
2016 Art speaks out, special screening during Till its gone, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul,Turkey
Viva con agua, Hamburg, Germany
Art speaks out, spazio Adiacenze, Bologna, Italy
2015 Art speaks out, Soho house, Berlin, Germany
2014 Outcasting: Fourth Wall Festival, UK
Yukon Riverside art festival, Dawson city, Canada
2013 Beyond the Dutch Mountain Video festival , Heerlen, the Netherlands
5th Cairo Video festival, Cairo, Egypt
Channels Festival, Melbourne, Australia
17th international videofestival Videomedeja, Serbia
2012 Signes de Nuit, Paris
25fps, Zagreb, Croatia
Rencontres International, Haus der Kulturen der welt, Berlin
Kino.Lab, CSW, Warsaw, Poland
2011 Rencontres International, Filmoteca, Madrid
E cinema night, Filmmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
2010 le Banquet de Blanche Neige, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
Rencontre International, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
Videoex festival, Zurich
Hors Pistes festival, Centre Pompidou, Paris
E* cinema Unstable matters, Filmmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
filmbanktour nr 25, Filmmuseum Amsterdam, het Hoogt, Utrecht, de Balie, Amsterdam,Focus Filmtheater, Arnhem,Verkadefabriek, Den Bosch, Filmhuis Lumen, Delft, Zeebelt theater, Den Haag,VHDG, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands
Rencontre International, Reine Sofia Museum, Madrid, Spain
International Filmfestival Rottterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
2009 Rencontre International, Centre Pompidou, Paris
Weesperzijde filmstrookfestival, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Noordelijk filmfestival, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands
Floss, VHDG, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands
Architecture filmfestival, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Revision, Dutch filmfestival, Utrecht, he Netherlands
25fps, Zagreb, Croatia
2007 Indie Memphis Micro Cinema Club, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Central Cinema Seattle, Washington, USA
Filmfrontfestival, Gorcums museum, Gorichum, the Netherlands
Videoar(Te)mpoAttivo, curated by Fiammetta strigoli, Plasma Art, Firenze, Italy
2006 Prescriptions, a videonight by Spark video at ForestCity gallery, London Ontario, Canada
Videothek, Korperein/satz. Hedah, Maastricht, the Netherlands, Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladberg, countryclub InternationalVideo Art Festival and Competiton, Germany
NPS new arrivals, website
2005 Impakt avBBQ night, Impakt festival, Utrecht, the Netherlands
2004 Halloweird, Microcinema, shown oa, New York, San Francisco , USA
All tomorrows deja vu, Video Mundi, Chicago, USA
Island art film and videofestival, London, UK
Love and other difficulties, Microcinema, shown oa in San Francisco, Houston, Oakland, USA
Rotterdam VHS festival, of Corso, het Wilde Weten, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
2003 Exploding cinema, London,UK
25HRS, the videoartfoundation, Barcelona, Spain

2017 Topophilia, part of the Meetings festival, Jutland, Denmark
2016 Till it’s gone, Istanbul Modern, Turkey
2015 Sfear fan ynset, de eerste Trienale van Beetsterzwaag, organised by Kunsthuis SYB, Beestserzwaag, The Netherlands
2014 Magnetic North, Avenue of the Americas Art gallery, New York City, USA
Coming Soon, Bureau Europa, Maastricht
Hoge Horizon, Stedelijk Museum Lier, Belgium
2012 Une Condition Naturelle,( a collaboration with Walter van Broekhuizen), Lokaal 01, Breda, the Netherlands
2011 La Commune, Global Talks, Stockholm, Sweden
Black Velvet, Skybox, Amsterdam
Une Condition Naturelle, ( a collaboration with Walter van Broekhuizen) kunsthuis SYB, Beetsterzwaag, the Netherlands
2009 Visions of William Living ( a collaboration with Pia Wergius) is shown as part of her solo exhibition in Kristinehamns Konst Museum , Sweden
Video festival Narave, Mestnagalerija, Ljubljana, Slovenija


Amsterdam Int Filmfestival, de Melkweg, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Visions of William Living, met Pia Wergius, de Veemvloer, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

2007 Festival del creativita, Florence, Italy
de altijd prijs prijs, de Fabriek, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Visions of William Living, met Pia Wergius, Filmhuis, Den Haag, the Netherlands
2005 the Videodictionary, as part of Impakt festival, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Disegnitudine, la quotidianita’dell’utopia curated by Fiametta Strigoli La Giarina arte Contemporanea,Verona, Italy
Access, Consortium, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Use this Kind of sky, curated by Paul Eachus and Nooshin Farhid, Keith Talent Gallery, London, UK
La mossa delle idee, Sala santa Rita, curated by Fiametta Strigoli, Rome, Italy/Spacio Uno, Firenze, Italy
2004 No premises/no conclusions, curated by Manuel Saiz, Moriarty gallery, Madrid, Spain
2003 De Grote Verbeelding, de Grote kerk, Den Haag, the Netherlands
Overexposed, curated by Jorge Bravo, Joan Prats Gallery, Barcelona, Spain
2001 Vertrek en verblijf, op Admiralengracht 52, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
2000 Vertrek en verblijf in Pakhuis Wilhelmina, Amsterdam , the Netherlands
1999 Youthquake, W139, Amsterdam , the Netherlands
Lijn 21, a public action of Ruim, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Een pier with a view, a public project of Ruim at Stenen Hoofd, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
1998 Blow up, Hooghuis, Arnhem, the Netherlands
Uitgelicht 2, Kunstrai, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
1997 Voor Jou, Hooghuis, Arnhem, the Netherlands
1996 Experienced, W139, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
1995 Bazaar139, W139, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
2x, Galerie Liter, Den Haag, the Netherlands
de Ruimte, Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, the Netherlands

the films are also distributed by Eye film, Amsterdam

2015 Ikono TV
2013 Ikono TV
2010 Souvenirs from Earth, on European cable network, broadcasted in May
2007 Metropolis, broadcasted on TVE(Spanisch national television), Spain
2003 Videovisions, broadcasted by Edith Russ haus fur Medienkunst, Oldenburg, Germany

Teaching and lectures
2008 Guest teacher at Hogeschool voor de kunsten Utrecht, the Netherlands
Lecture on costume design, Hogeschool voor de kunsten Utrecht, the Netherlands

Side activities
2012- 2014 Member of the programming committee of Kunsthuis Syb, Beetsterzwaag, The Netherlands

set and costume design

2018 set and costumes for RASA, during Motel Mosaique, a project by Marjolijn van Heemstra and Monnik, Rotterdam
2016 props and costumes for Kiemkracht, directed by Gienke Deuten
setdesign and costumes for Uwe Leipe Mastdramnis, Nieuw Amsterdams Peil, directed by Jeroen de Man, Music Rob Zuidam, premiered in Muziekgebouw aan het IJ, Amsterdam
2014 setdesign for Als ik de liefde niet heb, directed by Marjolein van Heemstra, Ro Theater, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2013 concept, set and costumes for het Strijkplankenkwartet, made together with Gienke Deuten and Het
Ragazzekwartet, performed oa. at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Netherlands
2012 costumes and props for Draak in Huis, a play by Elien van Hoek, produced by Stip/het Houten huis, the Netherlands
2010 masks for Beet, a play by Elien van Hoek, produced by Stip/het Houten huis,the Netherlands
2008 costumedesign for Alles is goed, direction Gienke Deuten, Toneelschuurprodukties, Haarlem, the Netherlands
2006 concept, set and costumes for Springplank voor de Val, a theatreproject with Gienke Deuten, produced by het Lab,Utrecht, The Netherlands
2005 costumedesign for De Groote Storm, direction Rieks Swarte, Toneelschuurprodukties, Haarlem, the Netherlands
2004 costumedesign for Woord, direction Rieks Swarte, Toneelschuurprodukties, Haarlem, the Netherlands
costumedesign for Van de Wind en de Berg, direction Emanuel Muris, Toneelschuurprodukties, Haarlem, the Netherlands
2003 stage and costumedesign for Zootopia, direction EmanuelMuris,Toneelschuurprodukties, Haarlem, the Netherlands
2002 stage and costumedesign for ‘He de zee' direction Emanuel Muris, Toneelschuurprodukties, Haarlem
2001 stage and costumedesign for Alice in Wonderland direction Emanuel Muris, Toneelschuurprodukties, Haarlem, the Netherlands
2000 stage and costumedesign for Krampen van een Dyslecticus, direction Emanuel Muris, Toneelschuurprodukties, Haarlem, the Netherlands
1999 stage and costumedesign for Lenz, direction Emanuel Muris, played Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Publications / reviews (a selection)
2017 catalogue Meetings festival, Denmark
2015 catalogue Till its gone, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul
2015 a solo publication; Infra no 12
2012 catalogue, 25fps, Zagreb
2010 a book: Film3, Eye film
2009 catalogue, 25fps, Zagreb
2005 catalogue, La Mossa delle idee, Firenze
2005 review, Flash art Italy, (La Mossa delle idee)
2005 review, El Cultural, (No premises, no conclusions), Madrid
2005 catalogue, No premises, no conclusions, Madrid
2003 review, El Pais, (Overexposed)
2003 review, (De grote verbeelding)De Volkskrant, NRC, Het Parool
2003 catalogue, De grote verbeelding
2003 catalogue, 25 HRS, Barcelona
2001 publication, HTV de IJsberg nr 39 nov
1999 review, De Volkskrant, (Youthquake)
1999 catalogue, Uitgelicht 2, Fonds BKVB