ARTIST PROFILE Pacita Abad (1946-2004), one of Asiaâ€™s foremost contemporary painters, passed away a few months after her 58th birthday. It was an abrupt end to a successful and prolific artistic career, that saw her create over 4,500 artworks, including many very large scale canvases, as well as a 55-meter bridge. Pacita was born in Basco, Batanes, a small island in the northernmost part of the Philippines, between Luzon and Taiwan. Her more-than-thirty-year painting career began when she journeyed to the United States to undertake graduate studies. After that trip, Pacita never stopped traveling or painting. She studied painting at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC and The Art
Students League in New York City, and then started to “paint the globe”, living on 5 different continents and working in more than 80 countries. Pacita’s extensive travels to exotic destinations like Guatemala, Mexico, India, Afghanistan, Yemen, Sudan, Mali, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia and Indonesia had a major impact on her life and art, and were the inspiration for many ideas, techniques and materials in her paintings. Pacita’s painting is characterized by constant change, experimentation and development from the 1970’s, right up until her passing. Her early paintings were primarily figurative socio-political works of people and primitive masks. Another series was large scale paintings of underwater scenes,
tropical flowers and animal wildlife. Pacita’s most extensive body of work, however, is her vibrantly, colorful abstract work - many very large scale canvases, but also a number of small collages - on a complete range of materials from canvas and paper to bark cloth, metal, ceramics and glass. A disciplined and prolific painter, Pacita created over 4,500 artworks and even painted a 55meter long bridge in Singapore and covered it with 2,350 multicolored circles.
Pacita constantly experimented with ideas that moved her beyond the confines of the traditional two-dimensional surface by developing trapunto painting, a technique of stitching and stuffing her painted canvases to give them a three-dimensional sculptural effect. She then began an almost magical process of transforming the surface of her paintings with materials, such as traditional cloth, mirrors, beads, shells, plastic buttons and other objects, which she synthesized with bold colors to create uniquely individualistic pieces of art. Underlying all of Pacita’s work is a vivacious spirit, vibrant originality and a volcano of color. Her works are all about life and pursuing dreams, they are full of purpose, nothing tentative, and
they are drawn from her personal experiences.
Like the artist’s life, Pacita’s paintings are a celebration of pure passion, joy and color that come straight from her heart. A truly global artist, during her 30year artistic career, Pacita’s paintings were shown in more than 200 museums and galleries in the U.S., Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America, including 75 solo exhibitions. Pacita’s work is now in public, corporate and private art collections in over 70 countries.
Magsaysay High School in Manila. 1964 - 69 Father is a Congressman from Batanes and then is appointed as Minister of Public Works and Communications under President Macapagal. Mother becomes the Congresswoman from Batanes. In later years, she would be elected Governor of the province. ARTISTIC CAREER 1946 Born in the Philippines on October 5th in the post office of Basco, Batanes, a small island in the middle of the South China Sea, halfway between Taiwan and Luzon, Pacita is the fourth of twelve children of Aurora and Jorge Abad. 1953 - 63 Attends Basco and Legarda elementary schools and Ramon
Pacita and her brother Jun are kidnapped going to the Beatles' concert, but are rescued unharmed after 36 hours.
Enters the University of the Philippines and plans to follow her parents and enter politics. She graduates with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1968, and in 1969 begins to study law.
the fraudulent election. Her family house is machine-gunned, but the election results are overturned by the Supreme Court and her father is declared the winner. 1970 - 72 Family plans for Pacita to leave the country and go to Madrid to study law, but when she stops off in San Francisco, California to visit her aunt, she decides to study in the United States. She enters the University of San Francisco and obtains a Masters Degree in Asian History, while working part time as art exhibitions coordinator.
Becomes a political activist when a Marcos gang is sent to Batanes to try to disrupt the 1969 Congressional election and defeat her father. She then organizes student demonstrations in Manila and leads a delegation to meet with Marcos to protest against
Lives in Haight Ashbury and is exposed to the exciting San Francisco world of music, art and flower power. Meets and is married to painter George Kleiman for two years.
Travels across the USA to visit Frank Lloyd Wright houses, Henry Hobson Richardson buildings and other architectural landmarks. 1973 - 74 Meets Jack Garrity at a World Affairs Conference on â€œ17-Mile Driveâ€? in Monterey, California and begins a 31-year global odyssey. Receives a full scholarship to attend Boalt Law School at the University of California, Berkeley, but turns it down to travel across Asia.
Pacita and Jack spend 12 months hitchhiking overland from Turkey to the Philippines crossing Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Pacita is inspired by the cultural richness of Asia.
1975 Returns to California and lives in a one-room cabin on a ranch in the foothills outside of Palo Alto, while Jack finishes his graduate studies.
Goes to Paris and Tours, France to study French. Begins long-term friendship with Philippine painter Nena Saguil in Paris, and visits Alexander Calder's studio in Sacher just outside of Tours. Travels for two months visiting ancient ruins in Egypt, Greece and Italy.
Moves to Washington, DC and enters the Corcoran School of Art for her first formal art training under Berthold Schmutzhart and Blaine Larson.
Meets and visits with Alma Thomas, a painter who lives a few doors down the street from Pacita. 1976 Spends two months in Guatemala sketching and painting Mayan ruins and villages.
Has first exhibition of 70 still life, portrait and landscape paintings at her 15th Street studio in Washington, DC. 1977 Moves to New York City and lives in a studio next to the Chelsea Hotel. Attends the Art Students League of New York and draws and paints still lifes under John Helicker and Robert Beverly Hale.
Meets painter friend Rocco Liccardi at the Art Students League and visits his studio in the Bridgehampton often over the following years. Introduced to Alfonso Ossorio, a PhilippineAmerican painter, and spends time at his studio. 1978 Moves to Dhaka, Bangladesh. Travels all over the riverine country by boat, bus and car,
painting landscapes and people in the cities and villages.
Exhibits 50 of her "Paintings of Bangladesh" at her Dhanmandi Studio in Dhaka, and later the following February at the Manila Garden Gallery in the Philippines. Pacita's father dies unexpectedly and she returns to Manila for his funeral.
Travels to villages around Juba and Wau in Sudan for three months and works on figurative paintings of the Dinka, Jur and Turkana people of Southern Sudan, as well as landscapes and wildlife in northern Kenya.
1979 Relocates to Bangkok, Thailand and begins to paint landscapes, temples and portraits of people.
Holds a solo exhibition of 20 of her "Paintings of the Sudan" at the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok. Meets with painter Alice Neel while she is exhibiting her work in Bangkok. Travels numerous times with international aid groups to the Cambodian refugee camps along the Thai border and begins sketching and painting portraits of the refugees.
1980 Holds an exhibition of her 30 refugee paintings titled "Portraits of Kampuchea" at the Bhirasri Institute of Art in Bangkok, curated by Daeng Chatvichai Promadhathavedi. Returns to Sudan for two months and continues her portraits of people in Khartoum and the Dervishes of Omdurman. Meets painter Rashid Diab and holds an exhibition of 30 of her Sudanese paintings at the Exhibition Hall in Khartoum, curated by Abdullah Shibrain.
Moves to Boston and for the next two years lives in a large, unheated loft near Beacon Hill. Holds a solo exhibition of 35 of her "Portraits of Africa and Cambodia" at the Brooklyn Museum in Brooklyn, Connecticut. Holds a solo exhibition of 30 of her "Paintings of Bangladesh", at the University of Massachusetts Gallery in Amherst, Massachusetts.
1981 Has a solo exhibition of her 30 "Portraits of Cambodia" at the Boston University Art Gallery, curated by Amy Lighthill.
Selected to be an Artist-inResidence at Altos de Chav贸n in La Romana, Dominican Republic. Spends time in Santo Domingo sketching and painting money changers, flower vendors, shoeshine boys and many other city scenes.
Holds a solo exhibition of her 35 "Streets of Santo Domingo" paintings at Altos de Chav贸n in La Romana, curated by Isabel De Castro Caceres.
Back in Boston, Pacita paints with artists Maria Fang, Barbara Newman and Joana Kao. Learning techniques from Barbara's puppet-making, Pacita develops trapunto painting, a technique of stitching and stuffing her painted canvas to give a three dimensional sculptural effect.
1982 Exhibits 20 paintings from her "Streets of Santo Domingo" series at the Walters Art Gallery, Regis
College in Weston, Massachusetts.
Begins to paint portraits of people and city scenes around Manila.
Holds a solo exhibition of 30 of her Sudan paintings, called "Scenes From the Upper Nile" at the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists in Boston, Massachusetts.
1983 Travels to Indonesia for six weeks and is fascinated by the wayangs, Indonesia's traditional puppets. Over the next fifteen years, Pacita would create over 110 wayang paintings, as well as a 144-piece wayang ceramic dinnerware set.
Leaves Boston and after a twelveyear absence, moves back to Manila to live in the Philippines for the next four years.
Travels to Papua New Guinea and visits her godmother in Lae. Excited by the tribal colors and masks, she begins 15 large mask
paintings, combining her trapunto technique with local cowry shells, feathers, bones and vegetable dyed colors.
1984 Holds a solo retrospective exhibition of over 120 paintings done in the USA, Sudan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the Philippines, called "A Painter Looks at the World" at the
Museum of Philippine Art in Manila, curated by Arturo Luz.
Receives the TOYM Award for the most outstanding young artist in the Philippines, the first woman to receive this award in the TOYM's 26-year history. Pacita's painting "Birds of Wau" from her Sudan series is selected for a UNICEF greeting card.
Later that year, she holds a solo exhibition of 35 paintings from her "Oriental Abstractions" series at the Luz Gallery in Manila. 1985 Travels to Japan, as her painting "Santa Mesa Walls" is selected to be included in the Fukuoka Art Museum Asian Bienale in Fukuoka. Austrian painter Hundertwasser visits Pacita's studio in Manila and invites her to Vienna to see his arts and environmental architecture projects.
Travels to Seoul, Korea and takes a brush painting course, which inspires her to begin a new series.
Participates in a group exhibition and shows 10 of her "Political Expressions" paintings, including a large canvas called "Death of Ninoy" at the Pinaglabanan Gallery in Manila.
Mounts a solo exhibition at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, called "Scenes from Batanes", curated by Ray Albano. These 23 very personal, landscape and portrait paintings were done over a two-year period and depict people, towns and vistas on her native island.
Becomes friends with a number of Philippine artists, including: Arturo Luz, Santiago Bose, Bencab, Impy Pilapil, Gus Albor, Fernando Modesto, Nestor Vinluan, Phil de la Cruz, Manny Baldemor, Jerry Arraos, Phyllis Zaballero, Paz Abad Santos and Agnes Arellano among others.
Learns to scuba dive and makes over 80 dives around the many islands in the Philippines. Pacita becomes dazzled by colorful coral
and fish and starts working on her underwater paintings. She then creates a large underwater installation, called "Assaulting the Deep Sea" at the Ayala Museum in Manila.
Paints 40 life size oil paintings called "Pacita and Her Friends" and holds a solo exhibition at the Luz Gallery in Manila. These paintings, done in oil and aquarelle on mounted paper, portray her friends in a variety of moods.
Pacita's underwater paintings are featured on the cover of Philippine Airlines' Mabuhay magazine. Participates in "UNESCO: 40 Years, 40 Countries, 40 Artists", a traveling exhibit to 40 European, North American, Asian and South American museums, curated by AndrĂŠ Parinaud.
1986 Returns to live and work in Washington, DC for the next eight years.
Lucy Lippard and other Latin American artists.
Holds a solo exhibition of her 35 "Oriental Abstractions" paintings at the Hong Kong Arts Center in Hong Kong.
1987 Makes numerous trips to Mexico and is inspired by the murals, paintings and sculptures of Diego Rivera, José Orozco, Francisco Zuniga, David Siqueiros, Rufino Tamayo and Frida Kahlo.
Invited to Cuba to participate in "La Bienal de Habana". Meets artists Leon Golub, Juan Sanchez, Marina Gutiérrez, Josely Carvalho,
Holds exhibition of 24 large "Canvas Collages" at the IMF Gallery, and 20 small paper collages at Foxley Leach Gallery in Washington, DC. Pacita’s painting “Puerto Galera” from her “Assaulting the Deep
Sea” series is selected for the cover of Reader’s Digest magazine.
Holds a solo exhibition of 20 of her "Asian Abstractions" paintings at the Fables Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1988 Has solo exhibition of 25 "Recent Paintings" at Martin Luther King Library in Washington, DC. Teaches a six-month course on “Trapunto Painting” to 30 students at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Meets with painter Joan Mitchell while she is exhibiting her work at the Corcoran Museum in Washington, DC. In conjunction with the 1988 Olympic Games, Pacita is selected as one of 100 international painters to exhibit at the "Olympiad of Art" at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul, Korea, curated by Ante Glibota, Pierre Restany, Thomas Messer and Uske Nakaharan.
Accompanies friend Karen Arras to visit family in Peru. Travels for six weeks sketching Andean landscapes, Lake Titicaca and Incan ruins. Participates in a group exhibition "Art for Africa", a traveling exhibition to museums in Paris,
Oslo, Cologne, Algiers, London and Rome, curated by AndrĂŠ Parinaud. 1989 Holds a solo exhibition of 35 of her "Trapunto Paintings" at the Franz Bader Gallery in Washington, DC. Designs costumes for a play, entitled "Enchantments of Lola Ita", staged at the Applecore Theater in New York City. Receives: an Individual Visual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); a Visiting Artist Award from the New York State Council of the Arts; and an Arts Grant from the Washington DC Commission on the Arts. Travels to Oman and Jordan and continues work on her "Postcards" series.
1990 Receives an Artist-in-Residence Fellowship at the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper in New Jersey. Produces a lithograph called "African Mephisto" with printer Eileen Foti.
Wins regional Metro Art Award to install a huge 50-foot mural, called "Masks from Six Continents", which hangs at the Metro Center subway station in Washington, DC for three years.
Receives a second Arts Grant from the Washington, DC Commission on the Arts, and studies ceramics at the Corcoran School of Art. Paints 50 flower and fish ceramic plates.
Holds a solo exhibition of 35 of her "Asian and African Masks" at the World Bank Gallery in Washington, DC.
Based on her work with Cambodian refugees and their resettlement abroad, Pacita begins a series of very large trapunto paintings, which she calls "Immigrant Experience".
Participates in a group exhibition called "Day of the Dead" at the Alternative Museum in New York City, curated by Geno Rodriguez.
1991 Holds two simultaneous exhibitions called "Wild at Art" with 30 trapunto paintings at the
Ayala Museum and 20 small abstract trapunto paintings at the Luz Gallery in Makati, Philippines. Receives an Artist-in-Residence Fellowship at the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper. Produces a lithograph called "Filipina: A Racial Identity Crisis" with printer Eileen Foti.
Becomes a member of the Board of Directors for: the Alternative Museum in New York; the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington in Washington, DC; and the Arlington Arts Center in Virginia. Receives her third Arts Grant from the Washington DC Commission on the Arts and an Artist-inResidence Fellowship from the Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation. Works at Pyramid Atlantic in Maryland and produces a woodblock print "Watusi: I am Lost Without You" with printer Helen Frederick.
1992 Designs costumes for "Long After Love" performed by the Pacific Bridge Theater at the Smithsonian Institution's Sackler Gallery. Receives the Resident Artist Award from OPUS B, a Maryland company, creating collaborations between elders, inner-city youths and artists. Gives a series of workshops over a three-month period to senior citizen Alzheimer patients as part of the Meridian Healthcare Program. Holds a solo exhibition of 26 of her large abstract trapunto paintings called "Abstract Emotions" at the Philippine Center in New York City. Receives an Artist-in-Residence Fellowship from the Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation. Works at Pyramid Atlantic in Maryland and produces a large paper pulp piece
called "The Great Barrier Reef" with Richard Hungerford.
Travels to Africa (Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Zimbabwe, Kenya and South Africa) and works on small, handmade paper collages and bark paintings which belong to her "Postcards" series.
A video documentary, "Pacita Abad: Painting The Globe", is produced by Raki Jones for WUSA-TV, features Pacita's immigration trapunto series, and is a nominee in the Rosebud Film and Video Festival in Washington, DC. Receives a Resident Fellowship from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts in Sweet Briar and works on her "Immigrant Experience" series. Pacita is distraught after her mother dies and returns to Manila for the funeral. Afterwards, she begins work on a new series of large abstract trapuntos. 1993 Holds a solo exhibition of 24 "Flower Paintings" at the Philippine Center in New York City.
Receives an Artist Workshop Award from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, where she lectures and gives workshops on "Trapunto Painting" at eight museums and art centers in cities located throughout Virginia. Receives an Artist-in-Residence Fellowship at the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper. Produces a lithograph called "If
My Friends Could See Me Now" with printer Eileen Foti.
Academy of Fine Arts in Hawaii; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco; MIT List Visual Arts Center in Massachusetts and the Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, Texas. Moves to Jakarta, Indonesia where she lives for the next seven years. Travels and paints throughout the country in Java, Bali, Sulawesi, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sumba and Irian Jaya. Exhilarated by the lushness of the vegetation, Pacita spends much of her time painting colorful tropical flowers continuing her ongoing "Flower" series.
Participates in exhibition called "Asia America: Identities in Contemporary Asian American Art", curated by Margo Machida and organized by the Asia Society Galleries. Exhibit travels to the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington, DC; Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; Honolulu
1994 Featured in March/April issue of Asian Art News, with a cover article written by Ian FindlayBrown.
Produces "Pacita Abad: Wayang, Irian and Sumba", a 92-page book showing 38 wayang paintings with text by Jim Supangkat in Jakarta.
Featured in the CBS television documentary "Profile on the Artist: Pacita Abad - Wild At Art", filmed by Kavery Kaul and produced by Asian Women United in San Francisco.
Holds a solo exhibition of 70 of her "Wayang, Irian and Sumba" paintings at the National Museum in Jakarta. These paintings colorfully interpret the traditional Indonesian puppets and primitive sculptures from Indonesia's islands of Java, Irian Jaya and Sumba.
Continues work on her "Wayang" series and paints over 110 paintings of the colorful, expressive wooden and leather Indonesian puppets.
Holds a solo exhibition of 20 of her large "Assaulting the Deep Sea" trapunto paintings at the Art Museum of Western Virginia in Roanoke, and a few months later at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News, Virginia. Holds a solo exhibition of 30 of her large immigrant trapunto paintings called "The American Dream" at the National Museum
of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. Participates in an exhibition "Beyond the Border: Art by Recent Immigrants", at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York, curated by Betti-Sue Hertz.
1995 Has simultaneous solo exhibitions in Manila called "Postcards From the Edge" at Galleria Duemila and "Twenty-four Flowers" at Liongoren Art Gallery.
Holds a solo exhibition of 40 of her large trapunto paintings called "Thinking Big" at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, curated by Cora Alvina. The exhibition includes a 20-foot painting of "Marcos and His Cronies" a.k.a. "The Medicine Man" with Marcos surrounded by 18 diseased masks representing various cabinet members, including Imelda Marcos, studded with costume jewelry.
Gives trapunto painting workshops in Manila at the University of the Philippines; the Cultural Center of the Philippines; and the Metropolitan Museum. Participates in a group exhibition of "disOriented: Shifting Identities of Asian Women in America" at the Steinbaum Krauss Gallery and Henry Street Settlement Abrams Art Center in New York, curated by Margo Machida. Receives the "Excellence 2000 Awards for the Arts" given by the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC. Participates in a group exhibition called "Looking at Ourselves: the American Portrait" at the Hudson River Museum of Westchester in New York, curated by Laura Vookles.
1996 "Pacita Abad: Exploring the Spirit", a 138-page book showing 120 of her paintings with text by Ian Findlay-Brown, is published in Jakarta. Holds a solo exhibition of 60 of her "Exploring the Spirit" paintings at the National Gallery of Indonesia in Jakarta. Spends one month at a workshop at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Darwin, Australia for the Annual Craft
Acquisition Awards. Meets with aboriginal artists on Bathhurst Island and travels to Kakadu National Park, which inspires her 25 painting “Australian Outback” series.
1997 Participates in the "World Batik Exhibition" at the Ardiyanto Gallery in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Meets with Yogya artists Ardiyanto, Entang Wiharso, Nia and Agus Ismoyo, and Rudy Corens. Travels to Barcelona and immerses herself in the works of Gaudi, Miro, Picasso, Tapies and Dali. Participates in exhibitions, including "Talk Back! The Community Responds to the Permanent Collection" at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York; and "Filipino Artists Abroad" at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila.
Pacita’s wayang paintings are featured on Bank Dagang Nasional Indonesia (BDNI) and Gajah Tunggal Group calendars and greeting cards.
Spends one month in Cambodia, traveling to the "Killing Fields" from which many of her refugee friends escaped. Visits Phnom
Penh and Siem Reap and makes a large painting of Angkor Wat.
Lives in Jakarta during the economic and political turmoil which culminates with the violent overthrow of President Suharto. Travels the streets of Jakarta making sketches of the trashed and burning Chinese areas of the city. Wins a regional competition to create a large painting called "Celebration and Joy" for the new Singapore Expo and Convention Center.
1998 "Pacita Abad: Abstract Emotions", a 46-page book showing 31 of her abstract paintings with text by Alice Guillermo, is published in Jakarta. Holds two solo exhibitions of 50 of her large and small paintings from her "Abstract Emotions" series at the National Museum in Jakarta and 22 small paintings at the Hiraya Gallery in Manila.
Participates in the group exhibition "At Home and Abroad: 21 Contemporary Filipino Artists", which travels to the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila. Joins exhibition "Women Beyond Borders", organized by Lorraine Serena, which travels to National Museum of Women in the Arts in Southern California; Akino Fuku Museum in Japan; Tin Sheds Gallery and Manly Art Gallery and Museum in Sydney, Australia; Gallery Saigon in Vietnam; and Gallery One in Tokyo. Goes to Yemen and spends six weeks traveling around the country and is captivated by the brightly painted doors and stained glass gamariya windows. Begins works on her "Door to Life" series as well as her "Gamariya" series.
1999 "Pacita Abad: Door to Life", a 115page book showing 105 of her Yemeni door paintings with text by James T. Bennett, is published in Jakarta.
Travels to four solo exhibitions of her 30 paintings from her "Door To Life" series at Artfolio Gallery in Singapore; Gibson Creative in Washington, D.C; Bomani Gallery in San Francisco; and Luz Gallery in Manila, where she has a simultaneous show with her artist sister Victoria.
Receives a Filipina Firsts Award, presented to 100 Filipino women who have broken ground in their fields of endeavor, organized by the Philippine-American Foundation in Manila and Washington, DC. Receives the Likha Award, marking the Centennial of Philippine Independence, in recognition of outstanding artistic achievement.
Travels to Vienna to study the works of Austrian artists Hundertwasser, Klimt and Schiele. 2000 Travels for six weeks in Myanmar by road and river, sketching pagodas, villages and people. Moves to Singapore after living for seven years in Indonesia. Receives the PAMANA NG PILIPINO Award in Manila for outstanding achievement in the arts, awarded by the President of the Philippines. Designs costumes for "Luna: Comic Drama and Art to Wear" theater production at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Participates in a group exhibition of "Art for Africa", a traveling exhibition to museums in Paris, Oslo, Cologne, Algiers, London and Rome, curated by AndrĂŠ Parinaud.
Designs and launches a 144-piece wayang dinnerware collection at the Koi Gallery in Jakarta, made in collaboration with Kedaung, a ceramic manufacturer. Each
dinnerware piece is individually designed and painted by Pacita. Produces a 56-page book to commemorate the collection.
Holds solo exhibitions of 50 paintings from her "The Sky is the Limit" series and travels to the Openings at the Artfolio Gallery in Singapore; Pulitzer Art Gallery in Amsterdam, Netherlands; Finale Art Gallery and SM Art Center in Manila; and Gallery Stockgard in Siuntio, Finland.
Spends six weeks in Rajasthan, where she is inspired by the richness, texture and color to begin work on her "Sky is the Limit" series. 2001 Produces "The Sky is the Limit", a 330-page book of Pacita's 157 colorful paintings and collages based on her trip to India, with text by Tay Swee Lin, Singapore Art Museum Curator.
Featured in March / April issue of Asian Art News, with a cover article written by Ian FindlayBrown.
Subject of a 30-minute television program, "Asian Working Woman - Pacita and Her Works" by Yvette Sitten, CNBC Asia in Singapore. Participates in exhibitions "Brown Strokes on a White Canvas", World Bank Gallery and Foundry Gallery in Washington, DC; "The Studio Portrait", by Carol Sun, Bronx Museum in New York; and "Mask: The Other Face of Humanity", Sonobudoyo Museum in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Selected as an Artist-in-Residence by Steninge Slott in Stockholm,
Sweden and is Visiting Glass Painting Artist at factory in Lindshammar. Designs and creates over 50 unique, visually stunning glass works based on organic color themes. Travels to New York City and goes to see "Ground Zero" which leads her to create a series of 10 small paper collages called "9/11".
Selected as Artist-in-Residence at the Southwest School of Arts and Crafts in San Antonio, Texas. Initiates "The 9/11 Phoenix
Project", a collaborative three trapunto painting, muralinstallation on the "9/11" World Trade Center disaster with local artists from San Antonio. Has 20-painting "Palay" exhibition at Montclair State University Art Galleries in New Jersey.
After the exhibition Pacita is diagnosed with lung cancer and is operated on at George Washington Hospital in Washington, DC.
2002 After her release from the hospital, Pacita returns home to Singapore for further medical treatment and begins work on a series of large paintings called "Endless Blues".
Undergoes eight months of radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment at National University Hospital in Singapore.
Travels to Kerala, India between her treatments and to Beijing and Shanghai after chemotherapy.
Holds a solo exhibition of 40 "Endless Blues" paintings at the Artfolio Gallery in Singapore.
Has solo exhibition of "Sky is the Limit", installed 20 large trapunto paintings, curated by Valentine Willie for the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay's in Singapore.
Featured in a 30-minute television program, "Endless Blues", by Beatrice Chia and Clarissa Monterro, aired by Art Nation in Singapore. Holds trapunto painting workshops at the Asian Civilizations Museum, Singapore Art Museum and Tanglin Trust School. 2003 Holds two "Endless Blues" exhibitions at the Hadeland Museum in Hadeland, Norway and at Galleri Stockgard in Siuntio, Finland.
Produces "Endless Blues", a 187page book showing 106 of Pacita's paintings with text by Ian Findlay-Brown.
Selected for a three-month Visiting Artist Programme at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI). Works with master
printmaker John Hutchison and master paper pulp specialist Richard Hungerford.
lithography, relief printing, screenprinting and hand-colored paper pulp.
At STPI, Pacita interacts with a number of other artists and curators, including: Frank Stella, Donald Sultan, Ted Pillsbury, Chua Ek Kay, Ong Kim Seng, Tan Swie Hian and Zhu Wei.
"Circles in My Mind", an 88-page book documenting the production of Pacita's 56 mixed media paper works at STPI is published in Singapore. Pacita's work including 7 prints, 31 paper pulp and 18 paper assemblages, incorporates the techniques of
Holds a solo exhibition of her "Circles in My Mind" series, showing 42 of her paper pulp and prints at STPI; gives student workshops and an artist talk, called "Painting the Globe" describing Pacita's artistic career. While at STPI, Pacita conceives of the idea to paint the 55-meter long Alkaff Bridge spanning the Singapore River. With the support of STPI, government approvals are sought.
Selected as Artist-in-Residence for six weeks at the Centre d'Art Marnay Art Contemporaire (CAMAC) in Marnay, France. Launches a 45-piece Batik Dinnerware collection, which Pacita designed and painted in collaboration with Kedaung, a ceramic manufacturer in Jakarta. This collection consists of thirteen unique sets of plates, cups and saucers with individual batik patterns from villages along Java's northern coast.
Pacita receives word from STPI that her proposal to paint the
Alkaff Bridge has been approved by all the relevant government Singapore authorities. Pacita begins to experience physical difficulties, but pushes ahead to complete her upcoming artistic commitments.
Featured in "Infusion: Pacita's Flamenco", a 30-minute television program on Arts Central Singapore, where over a oneweek period Pacita dances with professional flamenco dancers.
Travels to Korea and exhibits two paintings in the "Seoul International Women's Art Fair". Returns to Singapore and enters the hospital for further treatment. Results show that the cancer has spread to her brain and spinal canal.
consisted of: scraping and cleaning the old paint; priming with 120 liters of a white base coat; two coatings using 930 liters of six base colors; applying 2,350 circle stencils; hand painting each circle stencil using 46 colors; and painting the railings with additional circles.
Pacita is told by the doctors that she probably has less than one year to live and that most people do not survive more than 8 to 12 weeks. Pacita is anxious to start work on the Alkaff Bridge project and, with the help of Matin Tran of STPI and Michelle Tan, organizes the project team. She is re-admitted to hospital after Christmas, but requests to be released before New Year's Eve. 2004 Painting the 230 ton, 55-meter long and 35-meter high Bridge
Pacita undergoes radiotherapy treatment every morning as an outpatient, and then goes to work on the Bridge immediately afterwards, as she is determined to complete the Bridge project on schedule.
"Pacita's Painted Bridge", covered with 55 colors and playful circles, is inaugurated on January 29th as Singapore's First "Art Bridge".
"Pacita's Painted Bridge" a 136page essay by Pacita with 97
photos by Michael Liew is published in Singapore. The book richly chronicles Pacita's quest to transform the Alkaff Bridge into a vibrant multi-colored, outdoor sculpture. Holds "Circles in My Mind" exhibition at the AndrewShire Gallery in Los Angeles, California, curated by Susan Baik. Pacita is unable to attend the exhibition due to ongoing medical treatment.Pacitaâ€™s Painted BridgePacitaâ€™s Painted Bridge.
Back in her studio, Pacita continues to work on a new series called "Obsession" of small and medium-sized paintings on paper and cardboard.
Pacita's medical condition continues to deteriorate, but she paints feverishly and pursues a range of artistic activities, including workshops and talks. She also travels for short visits to Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. Participates in SingArt, "A Brush with Lions" along with 59 other SingArtists. Pacita paints "Simba" a colorful lion, which is displayed
for nine months at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore.
Pacita becomes partially paralyzed, but continues to paint and travels to Manila to meet with family members and see her brother Butch appointed Secretary of Education. Featured in September issue of Asian Art News, with a cover article written by Ian FindlayBrown. "Floating Market", one of Pacita's early paintings done in Thailand, is sold at the Sotheby's Southeast Asian Art auction in Singapore.
Produces "Pacita Abad: Obsession", a 160-page book by Ian Findlay-Brown and RubĂŠn Defeo.
the Philippines College of Art and at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Though she is confined to a wheelchair, Pacita opens her solo exhibition, "Circles in My Mind", of 70 "Obsession" paintings and 20 prints and paper pulp pieces, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, curated by RubĂŠn Defeo.
Artist-in-Residence and exhibits 10 paintings at the "5th HUGO and 6th Asia Pacific Conference on Human Genetics" in Singapore. Featured in a documentary colloquium at the Ateneo University Library of Women's Writings, where Pacita is honored as one of the outstanding Filipino Women in the Visual Arts. Pacita participates in STPI workshops at the University of
Pacita travels to her studio in Batanes to finish her last paintings and visit relatives. Her health forces her to return to Singapore and enter the hospital, where she passes away a few months later. A wind-swept hill in Tukon, next to “Fundacíon Pacita”, is where Pacita, one of Asia’s foremost contemporary painters, who
touched so many people around the world with her rainbow of colors, exuberant smile, booming laughter, boundless energy and unabashed enthusiasm for life and art, is now at rest. Pacita Abad, the multicolored, Ivatan gypsy artist, traveled around the world and found home overlooking the South China Sea on her beloved island of Batanes.