Image: Xyza Cruz Bacani, We Are Like Air Skyline, 2013, giclée print on Hanehmühle Photo Rag Paper, 16h x 20w in or 24.75h x 33w in, edition of 5 + 2AP
A Mother and Daughter's Unlikely Journey
New York - Christine Park Gallery is pleased to present We Are Like Air, a solo exhibition of photographs curated from a similarly titled book, by Hong Kong based Filipina artist Xyza Cruz Bacani. It is the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. At its core, We Are Like Air is a visual metaphor for the way migrant workers are often treated in every society – an ever-present necessity of production, but often permanently unseen. Through documenting eight inter-woven stories of migrant worker families, which also includes the journey of her mother, Georgia Bacani, the artist drives to the heart of this conversation in an extremely personal and relevant way through the images she has created. A video will accompany these photographs alongside a prayer area to allow guests to quietly spend time as they explore the gallery.
In addition to the images depicting the stories of these migrant workers, the exhibition will also feature an installation of cross-stitch embroidery, which was created by migrant workers in Hong Kong. Inspired from her photographs,, the embroidery serves as a physical representation of how society operates through the work of the invisible hands,performing multiple kinds of labor. Every Sunday, the artist witnesses’ women migrant workers creating beautiful patterns with cross-stitch on their rest day after working six days a week. A tradition of migrant worker families, normally done by the women of the household, cross-stitching is used to embellish and personalize household linens and dishcloths. It has now become a popular expression of creativity for women to hang on as decorations on the walls of their home. Similar to their experience as migrant workers, the process of creating a cross-stitch is also unseen and only ever acknowledged as a final product, separated from hard work put into it . This is similarity is not new as the parallels between the cross-stitching and labor they create flow through their hands like the air they have come to personify.
This exhibition and the artist talk are generously supported by WMA Commission, Hong Kong and FUJIFILM North American Corporation.
Artist Talk & Book Signing: Saturday 4 May, 6-8 pm
Exhibition: 3 May - 8 June 2019
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 11am - 6pm & by appointment
Artist Talk & Book Signing with Sheila Coronel, Stabile Professor of Professional Practice in Investigative Journalism at Columbia University, New York.
Venue: Christine Park Gallery, 515 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011
Xyza Cruz Bacani talks about her book, We Are Like Air, her journey as a photographer, and her photography projects with Sheila Coronel, Stabile Professor of Professional Practice in Investigative Journalism at Columbia University. The event starts at 6pm with a cocktail reception and ends with a book signing by the artist.
Places are limited but free admission. Please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Artist
Xyza Cruz Bacani (b.1987) is a Filipina documentary photographer whose works and story has been featured in the New York Times Lens Blog, CNN, BBC and other international media. Having worked as a second-generation domestic worker in Hong Kong for almost a decade, she is particularly interested in the intersection of labour migration and human rights. Through photography she was able to raise awareness about under-reported stories on migrants and human rights issues. She is one of the Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice Fellows in 2015, has exhibited worldwide, and won awards in photography. She is also the recipient of a resolution passed by the Philippines House of Representatives in her honour, HR No.1969. Xyza is one of the Asia 21 Young Leaders (Class of 2018), the WMA Commission grantee in 2017, a Pulitzer Center grantee, and an Open Society Moving Walls 2017 grantee. She is one of the BBC’s 100 Women of the World 2015, 30 Under 30 Women Photographers 2016, Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2016, and a FUJIFILM Ambassador.