Langa was born in 1975 in Bakenberg, Limpopo, and lives in Amsterdam. He studied at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 1997-98.
Rising to international prominence in the late 1990s, he was an active participant in what is now considered the golden age of biennales, including those of Johannesburg (1997), Istanbul (1997), Havana (1997), São Paulo (1998 and 2010), Gwangju (2000), Venice (2003 and 2009) and Lyon (2011).
Solo exhibitions have taken place at institutions including Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam (1998), Centre d'Art Contemporain in Geneva (1999), the Renaissance Society in Chicago (1999), the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati (2003), Kunstverein Dusseldorf (2004), the National Museum of the 21st Century Arts (MAXXI) in Rome (2005), Modern Art Oxford (2007), Kunsthalle Bern (2011), Krannert Art Museum in Champaign, Illinois (2013), and the ifa Galleries in Stuttgart and Berlin (2014).
Langa was included in the seminal group exhibitions The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa 1945-1994, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich (touring 2001-2); Black President: The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, New Museum, New York (touring 2003-4); How Latitudes Become Forms: Art in a Global Age, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (touring 2003-5); A Fiction of Authenticity, Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis (touring 2003-6); Looking Both Ways: Art of the Contemporary African Diaspora, Museum for African Art, New York (touring 2003-6); Africa Remix, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf (touring 2004-7); Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography, International Center of Photography, New York (touring 2006-8), Flow, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2008); and The Global Contemporary. Art Worlds after 1989, ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, Germany (2011). More recently he has shown in Afrique Capitales, spread across Lille and Paris, France (2017) as well as Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier at Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris (2017).