b. 1989, Manila, Philippines
lives and works in the Philippines.
Cian Dayrit is an artist working in painting, sculpture, and installation. His interdisciplinary practice explores colonialism and ethnography, archaeology, history, and mythology. Dayrit subverts the language and workings of institutions such as the state, museums, and the military to understand and visualize the contradictions these platforms and formats are built upon.
His cartographic artworks, often materialized through embroidery, textile, and mixed media collages, plot the patterns of imperialism and feudalism in activities such as the extraction of natural resources and the displacement and exploitation of marginalized populations. At the same time, the works summon new imaginaries that recognize the overlapping struggles and periods of resistance. His multimedia works examine how empire scored out the maps of the modern world, how its aftermath perpetuates industrial development, and how alternative territories might be imagined from the ground-up. Through narratives that expose the inner-workings of imperial power, Dayrit’s work invites us to reconsider how we spatially perceive and interpret the world. While informed by the experience of colonialism from the perspective of the Philippines, Dayrit’s work nonetheless defies being tied to a specific position or location. Instead, his work and research cross over geopolitical and supranational bearings.
Dayrit studied at the University of the Philippines. He has been exhibited in international biennials, including the Sidney Biennial, Gwangju Biennale; Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art; Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh; New Museum Triennial “Songs for Sabotage” in New York; and Göteborg Biennal. Dayrit has also participated in exhibitions at ParaSite, Hong Kong, Hammer Museum, L.A., the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, and the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw. In 2019 he was an artist in residence at Gasworks, London.