Dennese Victoria

Interview Questions

Why do you take and create images?

At the moment when I do take the picture, it’s still merely the pleasure of being able to see / have seen something, someone or some place – the joy around access. After that and in general I think I use pictures as maps, as a way to have the mind in objects.

How do you define your photographic/artistic body of work? What subjects do you often explore in your work?

I’m still trying to know what or how to define it although I usually call things that I do as attempts or studies. For subjects, there’s memory, personal history, and relationships with places, things, objects.

What motivates your work?

Questions I tend to ask, questions from ecountering other people’s works and lives.

What relationship does your work have with reality?

Many times my photographs end up being versions of reality; versions that I want to accept, versions that I can bring myself to accept.

For you, what is the purpose of art?

To be a mirror, other times a window, a door, or a bridge. Maybe towards living, or knowing as well as getting lost, or to seeing others, or even merely towards being able to talk to a part of yourself.

How do you want the public to respond to your work? Do you have a particular audience in mind?

To see themselves, to get to think of their own lives, objects and stories, to feel. To forget if needed.

What is your training? Were you trained as a photographer?

I learned the basics of how to use a camera in college as a course requirement. Other than that I like to attend workshops to push myself further, even if none of them have been on the technical side. Recently I’ve been wondering if I should take a more technical course, to feel more like a photographer? Or be more confident that I am a photographer? Yes I feel unsure.

How do you define your actual professional situation? What are your expectations?

It’s very encouraging that some people are interested in my work. I’m still a beginner and don’t know yet how and where to place myself. I expect difficulty, mainly from the financial side of things, but mostly from my lack of confidence about who I am and what I do.

It’s hard to live off art. Does this affect you and your work?

I used to work full time in an office and so it’s only in the last seven months that I’ve been dependent on it. It’s hard, yes, mainly because I’m slow and shy. I hope to find a way where I can live off doing something else and yet still have time and resources to do my own work and support others as well.

Have you worked with gallerists, curators, institutions and other art professionals? Can you discuss more about this particular relationship?

I’ve worked with a few in the presentations of my own work, and for almost two years, I worked in the Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts Section of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

With those I worked with (Objectifs, CCP, Obscura, Thousandfold) I’m just very grateful for the interest, time and space. I know my work is not easily as socially relevant or important, nor is it groundbreaking or different, or new. And so with them I’ve just felt very supported.

My brief time working in the traditional arts section of the NCCA was hard although in retrospective I did learn a lot about the Philippines. Yes, a lot needs to be improved and revised, but I also can say that a number of people there work very hard, if not all the time.

In your opinion, what is the current state of contemporary photography in the Philippines?

A lot of people are working and for me that’s good and always inspiring. Many of the photographers I’ve met have been very generous with their time and resources. Much of the support seems to come from outside the country though. This or that there are just fewer systems and spaces in the Philippines for photography.

How do you want contemporary photography to develop in the Philippines?

Work and interest do not always mean money and I hope what happens is for artists and photographers to be able to continue to working without worrying about money too much that their personal work (and life) suffers.

Aside from this wish, I would want to see more from those working outside Manila. And much later maybe a course or a book on the history of photography in the Philippines.



Name: Dennese Victoria

Lives in North Caloocan




2008-2012 AB Journalism, University of Santo Tomas, España, Manila, Philippines

Awards and Recognition:

Young Talents Competition
(1 of 4 winners)
La Quatrieme Image Festival
Paris, France



Group: We Will Have Been Young
Southeast Asian Photography Masterclass Exhibition Tour

Komunitas Salihara
Jakarta, Indonesia

NuArt Sculpture Park
Bandung, Indonesia

Objectifs Centre for Photography and Filmmaking


Days Spent with Pretend Family
Southeast Asian Photography Masterclass Exhibition
Obscura Festival of Photography
Penang, Malaysia

Being Here and There
Curated Projections by Marco Ugoy
Acceler8 Coworking
Makati, Philillpines

Birds, Curtians and Objects
Young Talents Competition
La Quatrieme Image Festival
Espace des Blancs Manteaux
Paris, France


Collaboration with Jippy Pascua
Pasilyo Victorio Edades
Cultural Center of the Philippines
Pasay City, Philippines

Birds, Curtains and Objects
as part of Songs of the Nusantara
Curated Projections by Vignes Balasingam
Chennai Photo Biennale

Alternative Instructions
Group Exhibit
Altro Mondo Art Gallery
Makati, Philippines


Birds, Curtains and Objects
Asian Women Photographers’ Showcase
Curated by Yumi Goto
Objectifs Centre for Photography and Filmmaking