David Palazón (born 1972, Barcelona) is a prolific visual artist, designer, researcher, producer, and a documentary photographer and filmmaker. Driven by a curious nature for exploration and characterised by a unique sense of humour, his work is a constant enquiry about the human condition. His most prominent recent work is Timor Runguranga, an epic and rare photobook—made over a period of eight years—portraying the young nation of Timor-Leste.
He received a BA(Hons) in Media and Design from the London College of Communication (formerly LCP) before completing his studies at the Royal College of Art with the Eye See photographic exhibition in 2003. David has lived and work in Barcelona, the Netherlands, London, Peru, Ghana, Timor-Leste, Australia, Indonesia Sri Lanka, and he is currently based in East Jerusalem.
He is best known for his award-winning films: Boneca de Atauro: Searching for the Lost Love, 2016 winner of the Best Asian Short Film Award at the 4th Salamindanaw Asian Film Festival. Wawata-Topu – Mermaids of Timor-Leste; winner of the Best Foreign Documentary at the American Online Film Awards as well as the Special prize “Chandrika Sharma’ at the 7th edition of the Pêcheurs du Monde International Film Festival in France in 2014. Executive Producer of Uma Lulik (the Sacred House), winner of the 3rd Audience Prize at BIFF 2012 (Brisbane International Film Festival).
In 2008 he left London for Dili (Timor-Leste) where among many projects, he curated and designed several publications and exhibitions for SEAC (Secretary of State for Arts and Culture). In 2014, David was commissioned by UNESCO, National Geographic Indonesia and SEAC in Timor-Leste, to curate and design the first public community-lead heritage exhibition in the country. His design for the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation—Chega! exhibition—based at the ex-Comarca Balide Prison in Dili, still listed in the top ten must-visit attractions in the Lonely Planet’s guide to East Timor.
David complements his artistic career with commercial, academic and research appointments. Between 2004 and 2008, he worked as an associate lecturer running the Artepreneurs practice-based learning programme in three of the six colleges at the University of the Arts London. Between 2009-2012, he was the Tatoli ba Kultura (Back to Culture—in Tetun language) Dili-based research project manager for Griffith University (Australia). In 2015, he worked in the implementation team towards the creation of a national Academy of Arts & Creative Industries with the Secretary of State for Arts and Culture in Timor-Leste. He is the author of the Contemporary Design in Timor-Leste chapter for the Encyclopedia of Asian Design: Volume 2: Design in South and South East Asia by Bloomsbury London.
He has received press reviews several times. The Portuguese News Agency (LUSA) in RTP News reviewed in July 2016, the launch of his new film Boneca de Atauro: Searching for the Lost Love included in Artaúro, an experimental touring production at the edge of the world in collaboration with singer/songwriter and experimental award-winning musician Jen Shyu. In 2008, journalist Ben Blaine from Shooting People said ‘In David’s best films you can feel him grinning from behind the camera, it is a grin that, Chesire cat like, infuses every edit.’ Back in 2005, the South London Press featured him In-the-Chair weekly page the Peckham’s Picasso. On the same year, Anna Watson, a journalist for Funds Europe Magazine reviewing his Ghana photographic series, said “An artist with a commitment to reveal the beauty and truth of ordinary lives”. During the same year, his collaborately I Love Peckham street art typographic project for BBC/Africa05 was reviewed by Graphics International, Creative Review and Design Week.
David Palazón has exhibited his artwork in London at the 291 Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery , FTHo (Flat Time House), House Gallery, Kingly Court Gallery, and the Prince Charles Cinema. Other galleries include the Feldman Gallery in Portland (USA), and the Flock Gallery in Newport (UK). His award-winning films have been shown internationally at the FIFO 2016 (Festival International du Film Documentaire Oceanien) in Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Oceanographic Adventure Film Festival, Océanopolis in Brest (France), Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum in Cascais (Portugal), International Film Festival Pêcheurs du Monde in Lorient (France), FACA (Festa de Cinema Antropologia e Arte) in Açores island (Portugal), the 44th Dance on Camera Festival by the Film Society at the Lincoln Center in New York, Festival Film Documenter in Yogjakarta (Indonesia), Jamboree Club (Barcelona), Rubin Museum of Art in New York City, Jogja Netpac Asian Film Festival in Yogjakarta (Indonesia), the 9th Mostra Internacional de Videodança de São Carlos in São Paulo (Brasil), Culture Unplugged Film Festival (India), St Kilda Film Festival in Port Phillip (Australia), INSTIDOC in Maputo (Mozambique), International Film Festival Documentaire Oceanien in Papeete (Tahiti), Pasifika Film & Arts Festival in Sydney, the 10th Indian Fisheries & Aquaculture Forum in Lucknow (India), Intimate Lens Festival of Visual Ethnography in Caserta (Italy), International Nature Film Festival (Estonia), Festival de Cinéma de Douarnenez (France), International Ethnographic Film Festival of Quebec (Canada), Nordic Anthropological Film Association Film Festival (Iceland), Fundação Oriente, Dili (Timor-Leste), APERTURE South Pacific Etnhographic Film Festival in Melbourne, Maha Art Gallery in Bali, Jagiellonian University (Krakow), Brisbane International Film Festival, Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (Darwin), Cinemateca de Lisboa (Portugal), Brasilidade Festival at the Palacio do Itamaraty in Rio de Janeiro (Brasil), Luanda International Film Festival (Angola), European Film Festival in Casa Europa (Timor-Leste), Clube Literário do Porto (Portugal), Cinema Nuovo Eden in Breccia (Italy), Cinematheque de Tangiers (Morocco), and the Toyota Museum during the World Expo 2005 in Aichi (Japan).