Pacita Abad devised her innovative trapunto technique through vast experiments with textiles and painting. The technique lent her canvases a quilted texture and sculptural dimension, and allowed her to incorporate her immediate environment into the work, embellishing the surface with feathers, rocks, mirrors, and seashells that attested to the specificity of her encounter.Read More
Her early subject matter was equally exuberant: tropical flora and fauna, tribal masks and underwater paradises. Abad's unrestrained use of colour epitomised her sense of optimism and far-ranging interests.
Pacita Abad's sojourns across the globe brought her face-to-face with some of the late 20th century's geopolitical crises, from Cambodian refugee camps on the Thai border to the downfall of the Suharto regime in Indonesia. Abad's socio-political portraits bear witness to the violence and oppression of peoples, to the modern-day slavery and sexual exploitation of women, and to the migrant experiences of modern America.
Pacita Abad died in Singapore, whilst undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer, after completing her final project, the Alkaff Bridge (2003—2004): a 55-meter pedestrian walkway adorned with her signature circle motifs, which the artist gifted to the city.