Jen Kiaba Photography | Burdens of a White Dress

This body of work, “Burdens of a White Dress,” is a set of surreal portraits that reflect being born in a fringe religious movement, the infamous Unification Church. The project’s title refers to the emphasis placed on a woman’s role in my childhood. A woman’s value was intrinsically tied to her purity and virginity; after marriage that value shifted into the realm of motherhood.

By using a square format and a stark palette, violently splashed with red, I explore the concepts of constraint, along with shame, evil, wantonness, and of the blood of womanhood, birth and death.


Because this was my own personal experience of leaving a repressive religious environment, I often use myself as a model. My body is then contorted or manipulated to demonstrate the internal effects of the struggle that it is to free one’s mind from a controlling belief system, and to demonstrate the repressed place that femininity had in my world.

Limited Edition Pricing starts at $395, and is subject to change as an edition sells.
10" x 10" Editions of 20
20" x 20" Editions of 15
30" x 30" Editions of 10
A blindfolded woman in a wedding dress hangs upside down tied in red and white rope.A woman with a veiled bird cage as a head, holds her own head in a cage in her lap.At the HelmThe AerialistA blindfolded woman with six arms in a white ruffled dress stands trapped by blood red spider webs.A veiled woman in a white dress runs as she tries to cut her hair out of a bird cage tangled on top of her head.A blindfolded woman in a white dress uses a steel knife sharpener to sharpen her tongue as blood runs down her chin, chest and arms.A woman in a veil and bloody wedding dress peers out from bloody bandages wrapped on her face.A woman dressed in white holds a knife and applies lipstick to the white mask she wears.A woman in a white dress removes the white mask that she wears and attempts to wipe red lipstick from her face as she smears it across her face."The Penitent Ones" Fine Art Photography by Jen KiabaAn anonymous woman in white stands with a razor blade in her hand, behind a head that is opened revealing a jumble of red wires.A woman wrapped in a red cloth cocoon hangs in traction.A nude woman with her head bent down sits cross legged as she unfurls her blood red feathered wings.