About Us - Artist Jose Abad Lorente and film curator Billy Stewart

Jose Abad Lorente

Jose Abad Lorente Jose Abad Lorente | London | 2019
is an artist and curator whose work is characterized by multidisciplinary approaches blending Chinese and Burmese calligraphy as text-based art, with socially-engaged art techniques and contemporary curating strategies developed through experiences in Spain, China, India, the UK, and Myanmar. Throughout his career he has studied continuously, creating an interdisciplinary approach blending lived experience, academic learning and art practice. He developed his own specific calligraphy style called “The Linking Line”. He bases his practice in textual art and practice-based research to develop works simultaneously as visual art, community engagement and relational art. He has worked internationally for two decades.

Billy Stewart

Billy Stewart Billy Stewart | &Proud Festival Yangon | 2016
has a background in public health, activism, film production and film festival curating. He has worked extensively with the UK’s DFID on public health projects centered on HIV, sexual health, and maternal health in China, India, Sierra Leone, Myanmar, Congo, and currently Palestine. Outside his professional career with DFID, he works on a volunteer basis to help established health promotion projects, particularly around HIV and AIDS. He has used creative approaches within this work, including the development of performance pieces for HIV and AIDS prevention in China. He is one of the co-founders and co-directors of the &PROUD Yangon LGBT Pride Festival. He is interested in the power of creativity to create social change, and in particular the ways in which performing arts can create alternative social realities. He is passionate about queer cinema and the role that filmmaking has in telling and amplifying voices for LGBT+ rights.

Who We Are

 Billy & Jose Beijing Billy & Jose | Beijing | 1997
Artist Jose Abad Lorente and film curator Billy Stewart founded Abadi Art in 2008 in New Delhi, India. We are an international couple who had been working and living for more than two decades around Beijing, London, Delhi, Yangon, Murcia, and Jerusalem and in each of the places we have been fortunate to live we have widened strong cultural and political ties.

Beijing, China

Public Art Beijing Positive Art Interactive Graffiti Wall | Positive Art Workshop Public Art Exhibition | Beijing 2002
in the late 1990s. We worked as independent curators a time that China was quite closed and it was difficult to open up discussion about social issues. Together with artist Diana Valarezo we co-founded La Casa Art Projects, a pioneer initiative that showcased art in alternative spaces including homes, hospitals, and schools, and we created several community art projects where we explored calligraphy as a form of self-expression in collaboration with marginalized communities such as people with disabilities and HIV/AIDS.

In India

Abadi Art Space Sandeep Biswas Abadi Art Space | Exhibition by Sandeep Biswas | New Delhi | 2012
we founded the Abadi Art organization as an artist-run gallery space where we explored curating as an art practice and the gallery as a white canvas. We worked together with Indian artists and community organisations, including groups for people with disabilities, to develop art projects, exhibitions and events.

In Myanmar

&Proud LGBT Film Festival &Proud LGBT Film Festival | Thakhin Mya Park Yangon | 2019
Aung Myat Htay Public Art  My Yangon My Home Art & Heritage Festival | Public Art by Aung Myat Htay | 2017
we co-curated the My Yangon My Home Art and Heritage Festival over two editions. The festival was based on community and public art, embracing public installations, performance, and linking Yangon based galleries and spaces. In Yangon Billy also was one of the co-founders of the & Proud LGBT Film Festival and the Yangon Pride Festival which ran for six editions and included film workshops for young LGBT film makers which produced around 20 short films.

In Spain

El Refugio EcoArt  Murcia - España El Refugio EcoArt | Murcia - España | 2021
Padrin@ Dame un Nombre Padrin@ Dame un Nombre | People and Trees Lineage | 2021
our most recent project El Refugio EcoArt took shape during the pandemic when we reconnected with nature. El Refugio EcoArt is a unique space to cultivate creativity, conserve nature and flourish art and we are hosts collaborative residency programmes for artists, writers, ecologists and creative friends. The collaborative residency's first project is “ Padrin@ Dame un Nombre / The Name Giving Project ” based on ecology, genealogy and drawing attention to relationships between people and nature, focusing on olive and mandarin trees adoption initiatives.


East Jerusalem The Carnival Party | East Jerusalem |2021
we are living East Jerusalem since 2021 working within the Palestinian and Israeli context. We helped to organize The Carnival Party celebrating diversity and the culture of East Jerusalem, and curated a Christmas exhibition about inclusion showcasing the work of artists with disabilities from the West Bank.