Born in Manila, The Philippines to a Dutch mother and Filipino father, Atienza has moved between both countries and cultures throughout her life. Currently she resides both in the Netherlands and the Philippines, dependent on where her projects bring her.

In 2006, Martha received her Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Academy of Visual Arts and Design in the Netherlands. She also participated at the art programme at the Kuvataideakatemia in Helsinki, Finland, in 2005. Previously she exhibited video art, often described as snapshots of reality, as part of installations at galleries. Her works have been exhibited internationally at various art spaces, galleries and video festivals. In 2009, she joined a residency in Green Papaya Project space in the Philippines. She recently was awarded the Ateneo Arts Award with studio Residency Grants in Liverpool, Melbourne, New York and Singapore.

Atienza’s video installations are visions culled from her Filipino and Dutch side. The precept of ‘stranger’ emanates as crevice between the operations of understanding and imagining. Her work is a series mostly constructed in video, of almost sociological nature that studies her direct environment.

Atienza concocts her observations into fictions framed by gallery devices. She does not spare herself from this presentation of anomalies. Tempting as it is to construe identity within the operation of the gaze. Atienza hardly gives us this power. She is still the employer of this gaze, even when the view is centered on her own image. It remains a curious sensation: to stand as voyeur to another person’s voyeurism.

Currently, she is investigating the usage of contemporary art as a tool for effecting social change and development.