Xyza Cruz Bacani

Xyza Cruz Bacani (b.1987) is a Filipina author and 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 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, Fujifilm ambassador and author of the book We Are Like Air.



We Are Like Air, 2019, Christine Park Gallery, New York. 

Under Represented, 2016, Christine Park Gallery at Apiary Studio, London. 

Selected works

News & Exhibitions

05 September, 2019

Interview with Condé Nast Traveler

Curated by Melissa Karman Lee, We Are Like Air is the public presentation of the WMA Commission project. Xyza, who used to be a domestic worker herself, reclaims the story of the migrant worker that has been told countless times by others. She is telling their own tale - not as victims, but as champions who have overcome many hardships in life. The exhibition portrays the experience of millions of mothers, daughters and families whose lives have been disrupted by migration. The exhibition title, We Are Like Air, comes from the idea that migrant workers are treated like air – invisible but important.

A public art display of Bacani’s photographs of migrant workers will be at spaces throughout NYC to spur dialogue with New Yorkers.

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    Xyza Cruz Bacani Occupy HK 04 2014 Digital Photography, Black and White 40.64h x 50.8w cm Edition 5 + 2 AP