“I always see the world through colour, although my vision, perspective and paintings are constantly influenced by new ideas and changing environments. I feel like I am an ambassador of colours, always projecting a positive mood that helps make the world smile.”
Pacita Abad (1946–2004) was born in Basco, Batanes, Philippines. Her more-than-thirty-year painting career began when she journeyed to the United States to undertake graduate studies. She studied painting at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington D.C. and The Art Students League in New York City, and then started to “paint the globe” living in 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.
Abad’s paintings are characterised by vibrant colour, constant change, experimentation and development. Her early paintings were primarily socio-political works of people, primitive masks, underwater scenes and tropical flowers. Her most extensive body of work, however, is her vibrantly colourful abstract paintings – experimenting with a wide variety of materials from paper pulp and prints to bark cloth, metal, ceramics and glass.
A disciplined and prolific painter, Abad created over 5,000 artworks. She painted a 55-meter long Alkaff Bridge in Singapore and covered it with 2,350 multicolored circles, just a few months before she passed away. Abad had more than 60 solo exhibitions and participated in more than 70 group exhibitions at museums and galleries in the U.S., Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America. Her works are now in public, corporate and private art collections in over 70 countries. Some of her public collections include Singapore Art Museum, Metro Center Subway Station Washington DC, Citibank HK, Unicef NY and the National Museums in Sri Lanka, Cuba, USm Bulgaria, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines and Korea.
Her residency with STPI in 2003, produced a body of work that is reflective of her passion for life and exotic and lively mindscape, and her great faith in humanity. Abad created over 50 exhilarating works which utilised the techniques of lithography, intaglio, relief printing, silkscreen and hand-coloured paper pulp.