Pacita Abad

Filipinas in Hong Kong

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Pacita Abad, Filipinas in Hong Kong, 1995, Oil on stitched and padded canvas, 270 x 300 cm. Image courtesy of Max Maclure. Art Jameel Collection

Artwork Details


Pacita Abad


Filipinas in Hong Kong




Oil on stitched and padded canvas


270 x 300 cm

Credit Line

Art Jameel Collection

Work Description

At once a comment on the lack of inclusive public space in Hong Kong and a stark critique of the Philippines’ labour export policy instigated under Ferdinand Marcos’s administration, Filipinas in Hong Kong (1995) portrays Filipina workers on their single day off, gathering in the city’s streets, subway passages and shopping centres while the city skyline offers up the allure of international consumer brands and experiences often out of reach for many of these women.

Artist Biography

Born in Batanes, the Philippines, in 1946, Pacita Abad studied painting at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. and the Arts Student League in New York. Her work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions including: Life in the Margins, Spike Island, Bristol (2020); Pacita Abad: A Million Things to Say, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila (2018); Circles in My Mind, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore (2003); Exploring the Spirit, National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta (1996); The American Dream, National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. (1994); Masks from Six Continents, Metro Art Center, Washington D.C. (1990).

Group exhibitions include: Minds Rising, Spirits Tuning, 13th Gwangju Biennial (2021); SWEAT, Haus der Kunst, Munich (2021); Whose Tradition?, Tate Liverpool (2021); The Crack Begins Within, 11th Berlin Bienniale for Contemporary Art (2020); Asia/America: Identities in Contemporary Asian American Art, a travelling exhibition organised by the Asia Society, New York (1996); Beyond the Border: Art by Recent Immigrants, Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York (1994); La Segunda Bienal de la Habana (1986); and the 2nd Asian Art Show, Fukuoka Art Museum (1985).

Her work can be found in the collections of Tate Modern, London; The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; Art Jameel, Dubai and the National Gallery of Singapore.

She died in Singapore in 2004.

A specially produced publication featuring newly commissioned texts, visuals and an extensive interview is available at the Art Jameel Shop, onsite and online.