Opening-Day Panels: Pacita Abad
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Opening-Day Panels: Pacita Abad

In celebration of the opening of the exhibition Pacita Abad, join us for two panel discussions that explore the artist’s complex relationships to her diasporic identity and exuberant material practice.

The first panel explores the critical position of Abad (US, b. Philippines, 1946–2004) as a Filipina American artist, working in crucial periods in the Philippines and the United States that deeply questioned identity and nation. Following is a second panel that examines how Abad’s cosmopolitan persona and art practice intimately entwined to complicate easy categories of craft, geography, and time.

1 pm: Eungie Joo in conversation with Stephanie Syjuco and Angel Velasco Shaw

3 pm: Victoria Sung in conversation with Pio Abad and Shabbir Hussain Mustafa

This program will have ASL interpretation.

Panel 1:

Eungie Joo is curator and head of contemporary art at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Joo has served as a curatorial advisor to the 2022 Aichi Triennale: Still Alive; artistic director of the 5th Anyang Public Art Project/APAP 5 (2016); curator of Sharjah Biennial 12: The past, the present, the possible (2015); and commissioner of the Korean Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale, Condensation: Haegue Yang (2009). From 2007-2012, she led the Museum as Hub initiative at the New Museum and organized the 2012 Generational Triennial: The Ungovernables. Joo was Lila Wallace/Reader’s Digest Intern for Diversity in the Arts and curatorial assistant at the Walker Art Center from 1996–1998.

Angel Velasco Shaw is a media artist, educator, curator, and cultural organizer living in New York and Manila. Her documentaries have screened across the United States, Europe, and Asia, and her work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Casa Asia, and the Museum of Modern Art, among others. She has curated contemporary art and film exhibitions in New York and the Philippines, and produced multidisciplinary projects in New York, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia. Publications include Vestiges of War: The Philippine-American War and the Aftermath of An Imperial Dream: 1899–1999 (2002, co-edited with Luis H. Francia) and the forthcoming anthology Markets of Resistance (2023).

Stephanie Syjuco works in photography, sculpture, and installation, moving from handmade and craft-inspired mediums to digital editing and archive excavations. Recently, she has focused on how photography and image-based processes are implicated in the construction of racialized, exclusionary narratives of history and citizenship. Born in the Philippines, she is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and has exhibited widely, including at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. She is an associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and resides in Oakland, California.

Panel 2:

Pio Abad is an artist whose work is concerned with the personal and political entanglements of objects. He mines alternative or repressed historical events and offers counternarratives that draw out threads of complicity between incidents, ideologies, and people. Deeply informed by unfolding events in the Philippines, where the artist was born and raised, his work emanates from a family narrative woven into the nation’s story. Abad has exhibited at the 58th Carnegie International; the 5th Kochi-Muziris Biennial; Ateneo Art Gallery, Manila; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Kadist, San Francsico; the 2nd Honolulu Biennial; 12th Gwangju Biennial; 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney; and Gasworks, London. Abad is also curator of the Pacita Abad Art Estate and has recently co-curated solo exhibitions on the artist at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design Manila; Spike Island, Bristol; and Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai.

Shabbir Hussain Mustafa is interested in the role of the curator as storyteller. He explores narratives by engaging with artists and thinkers, often creating spaces of temporal frictions in which the act of recollection becomes a vector for imagined futures. Mustafa is senior curator at the Singapore Art Museum and National Gallery Singapore, where he builds links between the art of Southeast Asia and the world.

Victoria Sung is the Phyllis C. Wattis Senior Curator at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, where she works with artists to create exhibitions, publications, and public programs. Previously, she was associate curator of visual arts at the Walker Art Center. Recent projects include solo exhibitions of new work by Pao Houa Her, Shen Xin, Candice Lin, Rayyane Tabet, and Laure Prouvost, as well as large-scale survey exhibitions, including Theaster Gates: Assembly Hall (2019) and Siah Armajani: Follow This Line (2018). Her final project at the Walker is Pacita Abad, the Filipina American artist’s first retrospective, which will travel to San Francisco, New York City, and Toronto after its presentation in Minneapolis.