Kiri Dalena (b.1975) is an acclaimed visual artist and filmmaker known internationally for her works that lay bare the social inequalities and injustices that continue to persist, particularly in the Philippines. Her active involvement in the mass struggle to uphold human rights amidst state persecution is the foundation for her art practice that underscores the relevance of protest and civil disobedience in contemporary society.
Dalena’s works are both documentation and critical commentary on historical and current state of national political affairs. "Erased Slogans" (2008-today) for instance, is a series of digitally-manipulated scanned photographs documenting the numerous demonstrations during the Martial Law era under then Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s. Deleting all the text that has been previously written in the placards, the artist encapsulates the magnitude of government suppression carried out under the military regime. "Red Saga" (2004), originally captured in film, recounts the intense armed hostility towards radical individuals and serves as a call for sustained uprising. Meanwhile, "Requiem for M" (2010) tackles one the most brutal murder of journalists in the world – the Maguindanao Massacre – and the culture of impunity that plagues the Philippines.
Dalena's films have been screened in numerous international film festivals, exemplry of which is Tungkung Langit (Lullabye for a Storm) (2012) - a three-channel video chronicle of two orphaned children coping with the aftermath of a typhoon that devastated Mindanao (southern region of the Philippines) in 2011. The film has been shown in Visions du Reel (SW, 2014), Naqsh Short Film Festival (BH, 2014) and in the Sharjah Biennale 11 Film Program (AE, 2013), among others.
Kiri Dalena graduated from the University of the Philippines-Los Baños with an undergraduate degree in Human Ecology, and pursued further studies in 16mm documentary filmmaking at the Mowefund Film Institute. She has participated in several group exhibitions at UP Vargas Museum (Manila/PH), Ateneo Art Gallery (Manila/PH), Lopez Memorial Museum (Manila/PH), Museum of Contemporary Art & Design (Manila/PH), Cultural Center of the Philippines (Manila/PH) and Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (JP), among others. A recipient of the CCP 13 Artists Award (Manila/PH, 2012) and Ateneo Art Awards (Manila/PH, 2009), Dalena has also been featured in several international art events such as the Singapore Biennale (2013), Yokohama Triennale (Yokohama/JP, 2014), Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale (Fukuoka/JP, 2014), and the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (Brisbane/AU, 2015). The artist has been invited to be part of the 2016 Busan Biennale. Her works are currently in the permanent collections of the Singapore Art Museum, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, and the Ateneo Art Gallery.
Kiri Dalena was born in Manila in 1975. She lives and works in Manila and Mindanao, Philippines.