Artist Talk: Pio Abad on The Collection of Jane Ryan & William Saunders

London-based Filipino artist Pio Abad presents his ongoing project, The Collection of Jane Ryan & William Saunders exploring the cultural legacy of Philippine dictators Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. The title is in reference to the false identities, Jane Ryan and William Saunders, the couple used to open four bank accounts at Credit Suisse, Zurich in 1968; bank accounts used to conceal large amounts of the couple’s wealth.

Reproducing objects from the Marcoses’ lavish inventory of commissioned portraits, Regency silverware, Old Master paintings and jewellery, the project allows access to an inventory that has remained invisible and performs an act of historical accountability that has remained elusive.

This talk is part of the ‘Phantom Limb’ exhibition opening programme. For more information on the exhibition, click here.

Pio Abad (b. 1983) Lives and works in London, United Kingdom

Pio Abad’s practise is concerned with the social and political signification of things. His work, in a range of media including textiles, drawing, installation and photography, uses strategies of appropriation to mine alternative or repressed historical events, unravel official accounts and draw out threads of complicity between incidents, ideologies and people. Often taking on the form of domestic accessories, Abad’s artworks glide seamlessly between these histories, enacting quasi-fictional combinations with their leftovers. Pio Abad began his art studies at the University of the Philippines before receiving a BA from Glasgow School of Art and an MA from the Royal Academy Schools, London. He has recently exhibited at Kadist, San Francisco (2019); the 2nd Honolulu Biennial, Hawaii (2019); the 12th Gwangju Biennial (2018); Para Site, Hong Kong (2017); Kadist, Paris (2017); Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (2016); 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney (2016); EVA International Biennial, Limerick (2016); e-flux, New York City (2015); Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong (2015); Museum of Contemporary Art and Design Manila (2015); Gasworks, London (2014) and Jorge B. Vargas Museum, Manila (2014)

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