Pio Abad’s work is concerned with the social and political signification of things. Deeply informed by the modern history of the Philippines, where the artist was born and raised, his work 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. 


He began his art studies at the University of the Philippines (2002–2004) before receiving a BA from Glasgow School of Art in 2007 and an MA from the Royal Academy Schools, London, in 2012.


He has had solo exhibitions at Kadist, San Francisco; Oakville Galleries, Ontario; Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow; 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney; Gasworks, London and Jorge B. Vargas Museum, Manila. In 2022, he will have a solo exhibition at the Ateneo Art Gallery, Manila entitled Fear of Freedom Makes Us See Ghosts, a survey of Abad’s 10-year project examining the legacy of the Marcos dictatorship.


He has recently participated group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Jameel Art Centre, Dubai; the 2nd Honolulu Biennial, Hawaii; the 12th Gwangju Biennial, Gwangju; Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow; Kadist, Paris; Para Site, Hong Kong. He will also be part of the 5th Kochi Muziris Biennial in 2022. 


Abad’s works are part of a number of collections including Tate, UK; Kadist, Paris/San Francisco and Art Jameel, Dubai. He has also curated exhibitions at Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila; Spike Island, Bristol and Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai.


Born in Manila, Philippines in 1983

Lives and works in London, UK




2012 MFA, Masters in Fine Art, Royal Academy Schools, London, UK

BA, Painting & Printmaking, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, UK


BA, Fine Art, University of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines


Solo Exhibitions



Ateneo Art Gallery, ‘Fear Of Freedom Makes Us See Ghosts’, Manila, Philippines


1st Brent Biennial, ‘Remember This House’, London, UK


Kadist, ‘Kiss the Hand You Cannot Bite’, San Francisco, USA


Oakville Galleries, ‘Splendour’, Ontario, Canada


Silverlens, ‘COUNTERNARRATIVES’, Manila, Philippines


Art Basel Encounters, ‘Not a Shield, but a Weapon’, Hong Kong


Centre for Contemporary Art, ‘Notes on Decomposition’, Glasgow, UK


4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, ‘1975 – 2015’, Sydney, Australia


Silverlens Gallery, Gillman Barracks, ‘A Short History of Decay’, Singapore