Cian Dayrit is an artist visualising collective struggles of resistance through the mediums of painting, textile, sculpture, and installation. His interdisciplinary practice investigates how notions of power are represented and reproduced in monuments, museums, maps and other institutionalised media. Working as a counter-cartographer on hand-embroidered fabrics or over-painted collages of colonial-era maps, Dayrit’s brightly coloured artworks comment on the expulsion of indigenous peoples from their land, the exploitation of natural resources, the reproduction of feudal land relations and the damage of neoliberalism in his native Philippines.
Although Dayrit’s work is informed by the experience of colonialism from the perspective of the Philippines, he resists the limitations of fixed location by recognising the overlapping struggles of marginalised communities against imperialist powers. In his work Dayrit explicitly redraws the boundaries of ‘official’ history to challenge the borders that were created to unequally distribute resources. By disrupting the dividing lines of maps and reconfiguring power, Dayrit invites viewers to rethink the ways in which they spatially perceive and interpret the world.
Dayrit studied at the University of the Philippines. He was recipient of Ateneo Art Award in 2017; and Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artists Award in 2018. Dayrit has exhibited in international biennials, including the 23rd Sydney Biennial, 2022; 13th Gwangju Biennale, 2021; 11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, 2020; Göteborg Biennal, 2019; Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh, 2018; and New Museum Triennial, New York, 2018. Dayrit has also exhibited globally in solo, and group shows including ParaSite, Hong Kong, 2018; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2018; The Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw. 2018; and The Metropolitan Museum of Manila, 2017.