Xyza Cruz Bacani
Xyza Cruz Bacani (b.1987) is a Filipina Street and Documentary photographer based in Hong Kong who uses her work to raise awareness about under-reported stories. 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. 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 author of the book We Are Like Air.
I’m a street and documentary photographer from the Philippines and currently based in Hong Kong. I have been collaborating with different FUJIFILM offices around the world since 2015. From the Philippines, Hong Kong, North America and UAE, the support they have shown me is tremendous and I look forward to working with them always. This year is a great year for many first. I shot my first commissioned art project for Hong Kong Art Centre. I shot my first billboard project about an issue that I care about. And in November 30, 2018, I published my first book with a flagship exhibition. My first book is my personal best because it’s the most personal project I have done in my journey as a storyteller.
The book launch and exhibition was supported by FUJIFILM. The launch was special because it was my first show that my family was able to attend.
I used FUJIFILM instax for my Oasis installation. Where do they go when they are forgotten. In this exhibition, I try to push the boundaries of presenting photographs.
There are 204 images in We Are Like Air book, the newer images are shot with the FUJIFILM GFX 50S. The older images are taken with X-Pro2 and X100F. When we were printing the book, the images for me are filled with life. It took us almost two years of working on this book from the time I won the WMA Commission grant, until I finally hold the book in November this year. The feeling is glorious.
This is one my favorite image, an image of my mother and father sharing a smile together. A couple who have lived most of their married life long distance but still manage to be in love with each other until now.
Portrait of my mother Georgia, a woman who have so much love to give and sacrificed a lot for us. Her story as a migrant worker is the story of millions of migrant mothers in the world. A narrative of the length of what they are willing to sacrifice for their children that they left behind.
This photo of my father Villamor and my niece shot with X-Pro2 reminds me of my childhood. Photographing my family is one of the most challenging project because I was vulnerable. It forced us to revisit a lot of memories but then it gave us a second change. A change to forgive and heal.
There are too many photographs to explore in this book and hopefully it will do wonders to other families too, like it did to mine.