Pio Abad, Kiss the Hand You Cannot Bite
Weaving together narratives of exile and displacement, Kiss the Hand You Cannot Bite draws from the history of the Bay Area as a site of refuge and resistance in the late 1970’s and 80’s. Comprising sculptures, paintings, prints, and photographs, Abad’s newly commissioned body of work explores histories related to the Filipino dictator, Ferdinand Marcos who was removed from power in 1986 and his wife, Imelda, to reveal the mechanisms of empire and how they manifest in the American political imaginary. Kiss the Hand You Cannot Bite is Pio Abad’s first solo exhibition in the United States and culminates his residency at KADIST San Francisco.
Pio Abad’s (b. 1983, Manila, lives and works in London) practice 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.