Top: Tanja Geis, Untitiled, at 724 Commercial St.
Bottom: Jonathan Wallraven, 建設健康高效的社會 (Build a Healthy and Efficient Society) at 41 Ross
Tanja Geis and Jonathan Wallraven – two of CCC artists known for working in ink – returned to Chinatown to paint their new murals in the alleyways of Commercial and Ross. The two artists interpreted their own understandings about the local democratic movements and presented with their own signature-style paintings.
Geis’s mural at 724 Commercial Street applied the elements of “chinoiserie wallpaper” and plants that people have brought over from China to indicate the transformation of cultures across the ocean. Wallraven’s mural at 41 Ross implied a shift in perspective to share same concerns among people in the purpose of connecting with each other.
CCC is proud to introduce the two world class contemporary artists to the alleyways and to the community. Support from the Zellerbach Family Foundation and Grants for the Arts.
建設健康高效的社會 (Build a Healthy and Efficient Society) Let us now think about the mundane a bit differently, okay? Try this: Go to a crowded public space. Now imagine that everyone but you has recently escaped from a mental institution. Or how about this: While talking on your phone, pretend that you are not talking to a beloved friend in another place, but that you are actually talking to the intelligent appliance that you are holding to your ear. One more: Imagine that the Television family is having a sincere conversation, that they’re real people whose quality of life has improved through informed purchasing decisions. How does this make you feel about Frosted Flakes? It’s not that I want you to feel the way I feel, it’s just that I think you could benefit from a shift in perspective. Some empathy might help. Fuck, I don’t know. Maybe you share my fears, and it’s comforting to see that someone else has the same concerns that you do, that you’re not alone. I’m just trying to connect. Maybe if I try the best I can, you’ll try the best you can, and the best we can will be good enough. But I could be wrong.
Untitled The mural is painted on the wall of the building belonging to the Wah Ying Social Club, a nonprofit, founded in 1935, by 8 young men looking for a space to socialize. In the 80 years since its founding, Wah Ying has come to play an integral role in supporting not just its members but the wider San Francisco Chinatown community. The mural draws on the stylistic qualities of Chinese blue and white export porcelain; chinoiserie painted wallpapers; the image of a hybrid tree comprised of common native species (California redwood and coast live oak) and non-native species (gingko and eucalyptus); and the iconic symbol of Wah Ying, the golden eagle. This layered imagery seeks to honor the migration of Chinese to the San Francisco Bay Area, the growth of the distinct and complex culture of San Francisco Chinatown, and the cultural institutions that keep it thriving.
Sunrise Public Celebration
Photos from Unveiling
The CCC is thrilled to unveil Sunrise, a new public artwork in San Francisco, installed on the grand staircase leading to the CCC on the Dr. Rolland and Kathryn Lowe Community Bridge. The result is from over three years of planning and community process, this work uplifts the community and activates the Lowe Community Bridge for residential and public enjoyment. Sunrise by Mik Gaspay was selected after a national competitive public open call.
The public piece is led and commissioned by the Chinese Culture Center through a community process with a Project Community Advisory Committee comprised of business, nonprofits, and stakeholders of the community, funded by the San Francisco Community Challenge Grant Program. Special thanks to Chinatown Community Development Center, Chinatown Better Parks and Recreation, Ellision Enterprises Inc., San Francisco City College Chinatown/North Beach branch, St. Mary’s School, Portsmouth Parking Plaza Corporation, Hilton San Francisco Financial District.
The opening will be the same day as San Francisco Arts Commission’s Passport 2016: Chinatown.
Sunrise, is a tile mosaic of an anamorphic sun rising over a body of water. This location was once part of the San Francisco shoreline and a place where one could have watched a sunrise.
As an observation of the past, a celebration of the present and contemplation of the future, Sunrise brings color to pronounce the geographical history of the Portsmouth Square area.
About the Artist
Mik Gaspay is an interdisciplinary artist who primarily works with found objects, painting and sculpture. His practice investigates translated meanings of commonplace products and structures, drawing from the tension between functionality, purpose and language to conjure up expressions fused from readymade signification, history and uncertainty. He was born in Quezon City, Philippines and migrated to Palo Alto, California at the age of 9. He received a B.F.A. in Illustration/Design from the California College of Arts and Crafts and later attended the California College of the Arts for his M.F.A. He currently lives and works in San Francisco, California.
We need your support! Donate $100 or more to support the making of “Sunrise”and receive a limited edition print from the artist! Make sure to note in the Comments, you are donating to “Sunrise” to get your print. For questions, contact Jenny Leung [email protected]
Additional support from the Hilton San Francisco, Financial District, Grants for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Liminal Space – Crossings By Summer Lee
Liminal Space – Crossings is a public artwork that will be installed in Winter 2016 in the Ross Alley at San Francisco Chinatown. Led by artist Summer Lee, Liminal Space – Crossings consists of LED lighting projected throughout the space for the pedestrians to experience an aesthetic crossing as they commute through the alleyway. The lighting will flicker in the way that light gleams off the ocean, as well as form a darkening gradation of light towards the center of the alley, to simulate the deepening of the ocean between bodies of land. In this way, the moment of crossing will reference an ocean journey, as anyone who has come from China or travels to China traverses an ocean. This ocean is a symbolic and romantic motif, at once an endless horizon, but also a poignant site and moment of real transfiguration.
Lee will collect stories of crossings made by both community members and people of Chinese descent who has experienced the crossing to China as a foreigner. Workshops, community gathering, and a celebration event will be held to highlight these stories.
Liminal Space – Crossings is curated and organized by Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco. Supporting sponsors are: SFAC Community Challenge Grant, SFAC Artists and Communities in Partnership Grant, CAC Creative California Communities, NEA Our Town Grant.
Summer Mei Ling Lee holds BA degree from Stanford University and a MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Using a range of media, Lee’s recent work draws from her personal ancestry to expose the limitations of the “consciousness of objects” and seeks an image of what transcending those limits might be.
Her work has been shown at Southern Exposure (San Francisco, CA), Kadist Foundation Gallery (San Francisco, CA), Tangent Gallery (Sacramento, CA), Woman-Made Gallery (Chicago, IL), Sanchez Art Center (Pacifica, CA), University of the Pacific (Stockton, CA), Studio 110 Projects (Sausalito, CA), Bamboo Curtain Studio (Taipei), Fei Contemporary Art Center (Shanghai).
SF Chinatown Invites 3 Public Art Finalists to St. Mary’s Square Project
Chinese Culture Center (CCC) announces the finalists selected to submit full proposals to the St. Mary’s Square Public Art Project. More than 100 applications from 64 cities and 13 countries were submitted, which is a testament to the importance of and excitement for community-initiated developments.
The finalists are (in alphabetical order):
Acrylicize, a London/Seattle-based specialist studio that creates high-concept art installations for public, commercial, and residential spaces.
Sarah Sze, a New York-based contemporary artist who utilizes everyday objects and traces of human behavior to create intricate sculptures and installations.
Shin Gray Studio, a Los Angeles-based team of two artists, Kyungmi Shin and Todd Gray, who create artworks for public venues.
From May 10th to May 14th, 2016, members of the public are invited to view and submit comments on the three finalists’ proposals, which will be displayed at the CCC Visual Art Center. After conclusion of the public viewing period, St. Mary’s Square Public Art Panel will convene and make a final selection at the end of May.
The permanent public art piece will be installed on a new rooftop park, to be located on the fifth story of the office building at 500 Pine Street, which connects to St. Mary’s Square. The site is the former location of the Kong Chow Temple, a historic building operated by the Kong Chow Benevolent Association that was founded in 1854 by immigrants from China.
CCC is the lead organization for the St. Mary’s Public Art Project and is collaborating with 500 Pine Street Company, LLC, the sponsor of the new office project, Heller Manus Architects, Kong Chow Benevolent Association, Chinese Historical Society of America, Chinatown Community Development Center, and the Committee for Better Parks and Recreation in Chinatown to reimagine open spaces by bringing the highest quality public art installation to the Chinatown neighborhood.
Public Viewing of Proposals
May 10-14, 2016
CCC Visual Art Center
750 Kearny St, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94108
Chinese Culture Center
CCC is committed to sparking intercultural discovery through art, education, and engagement. Founded in 1965 and rooted in Chinatown, CCC believes in a comprehensive community building strategy that uses art to create a healthy and cohesive neighborhood. Shaped by resistance, endurance, and imagination, CCC ignites art interventions and shifts the dominant narrative about Chinese Americans.
CCC has five decades of experience embedded in the community leading complex projects and events supported by the City’s Neighborhood Arts Collaborative, Grants for the Arts, Arts Commission, OEWD and the SFMTA. Recent projects include the “Central Subway Temporary Art Project,” a multi-year public art initiative funded by SFAC; “Dancing on Waverly,” a day of community engagement sponsored by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the California Arts Council, and private donors; and the current “Sunrise” public art project on the pedestrian bridge between Portsmouth Square and the CCC in collaboration with merchants, the Community Challenge Grant, and community organizations.
500 Pine Street Company, LLC is the real estate developer of the office building at 500 Pine Street, San Francisco, which is sponsoring the St. Mary’s Public Art Project.
Community Partner Organizations
Chinatown Community Development Center is a place-based community development organization that builds community and enhance the quality of life for San Francisco residents.
The Chinese Historical Society of America is the oldest organization in the country dedicated to the interpretation, promotion, and preservation of the social, cultural and political history and contributions of the Chinese in America.
Heller Manus Architects is a San Francisco based architecture firm providing architectural and urban design for public and private sector clients.
The Kong Chow Benevolent Association, founded in 1854, was the first Chinese benevolent society formed in America. The original Kong Chow temple was built in 1857 at 520 Pine Street and replaced with a new building at Clay and Stockton Streets in the 1960s.
Committee for Better Parks and Recreation for Chinatown is a long-standing advocate for preserving the neighborhood’s limited open space.
For more information, visit http://www.cccsf.us/intervention_stmary/
Fragile: an exhibition by Marta Dell’Angelo and Summer Lee
Italian Culture Institute, Chinese Culture Center, and various sites
18 February 2016, 6pm. Opening at IIC
601 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco 94102
Exhibition on view Mon-Fri 10-4:30 at Italian Culture Institute
13 March 2016. Finissage
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM Untold Story, I-Hotel 868 Kearny St, 3/F
6:00 PM – Closing Performance, Ross Alley
Jointly undertaken by Marta Dell’Angelo and Summer Mei Ling Lee, the exhibition “Fragile” is a document of and an exploration into the indeterminate nature of artistic collaboration. Over the course of a month, the two artists, one Chinese-American and the other Italian, worked alongside each other, going from strangers to friends, and developing an understanding that reaches beyond words.
An ephemeral catalogue (http://www.mappingthecity.org/fragile-blog.html) records their interactions and reactions in both English and Italian. For the closing reception, the artists have planned a performance artwork on the subject of their collaborative journey, using the iconography of the Pieta, with additional images and sounds from their month-long work together.
Marta Dell’Angelo is an Italian artist who focuses her research on the relationships between the brain and the body.www.martadellangelo.it
Bay Area native Summer Mei Ling Lee explores images of her family as a prefiguring of the unknown. www.summerleeart.com
Italian curator, Marina Pugliese and CCC’s Abby Chen have paired a Milan-based artist with a San Francisco Bay Area native whose respective visual practices have enough similarities and differences to build an engaging dialogue and question the nature of artistic collaboration. The project kicks off with an exhibition jointly created by the two artists. The opening, which takes place in the IIC gallery space, will initiate a constellation of collaborative art actions throughout San Francisco’s urban setting, thus launching an ephemeral archive to document their month-long collaboration. The project will culminate in a concluding performance and story telling in Chinatown for Finissage.
This exhibition is part of Mapping the City, a collaborative project promoted by the Italian Cultural Institute (IIC) of San Francisco and curated by Marina Pugliese, which was conceived to further exchanges among Italian contemporary visual artists and their Bay Area counterparts. Its inherent goal is to broaden the compass of cultural initiatives – which are perhaps too often subject to the limits of an organization’s specific communities. This project was therefore created as an extension outside the physical limits of the Italian Cultural Institute.
Please click here to register for the opening reception at the IIC on the 18th of February.
Unveiling “Sky Bridge” Public Art Installation
Portsmouth Square Pedestrian Bridge
750 Kearny St. (over Kearny St, connecting the Chinese Culture Center and Portsmouth Square)
Celebrating Central Subway coming to Chinatown:
International artist Beili Liu selected to create
Finale Art in Chinatown Landmark
San Francisco, CA- July 14, 2015 – The Chinese Culture Foundation (CCF) is pleased to announce, “Sky Bridge,” the finale for the Central Subway Temporary Art Project. The multi-year project, “Central Subway, Journey to Chinatown” is one of the first initiatives to bring public art to Chinatown, and celebrates the coming of the San Francisco Central Subway to the community, while transforming the public space. For the finale, celebrated international artist Beili Liu was selected to create the stunning installation piece, “Sky Bridge” to be unveiled to the public on August 1st. The art will be installed on the pedestrian bridge over Kearny Street, linking the Chinese Culture Center to Portsmouth Square, a landmark in Chinatown.
“’Sky Bridge’ will be the most amazing piece of public art in Chinatown,” Mabel Teng, executive director of Chinese Culture Foundation predicts. “The art piece not only represents the arrival of Central Subway, but the bringing of public art to Chinatown, and the coming together of the community. The finale is in many ways a journey. The community has fought hard for art, and for transportation in the neighborhood. We hope the public will join the community in the celebration and see this as the beginning of an art renaissance.”
The finale has been preceded by talented artists and writers such as Charlie Chin, Gold Mountain Poetry Society, Justin Hoover, Lauren Huang, Jon Jang, and Feng Jin. As part of the project, the artists were commissioned to create pieces that commemorate the Central Subway connecting Chinatown to the rest of the city, including SoMa and Union Square stations. Other works from the project can be seen in Wentworth Alley, Walter U Lum Place, and the Chinatown Music Festival.
“‘Sky Bridge’ marks another remarkable installation from Beili Liu and for San Francisco. I look forward to this transformation that will create a new spatial awareness, and subvert the perception of a familiar place,” Abby Chen, Artistic Director for the CCF.
“Each and every individual bricks is to be covered with mirror-reflective silver Mylar. The rhythmic, reflective grid will bring into it the sky and clouds above, the urban buildings and the Chinese gate. The transformed bridge becomes a river-like silver pathway,” the artist Beili Liu describes her new artwork.
The installation is also a highlight for the 50th anniversary of the Chinese Culture Foundation. The organization has begun its contemporary art directive in 2008, starting with Beili Liu as the selected artist for its new series, XianRui. The homecoming for Liu coincides with this celebration. Among the other celebrations for the 50th anniversary, a suite of summer festivals in July and August, and the opening of a new experimental space, 41 Ross. Central Subway Station is scheduled to open in 2019.
Ever since we started to install Sky Bridge, everyday is a new experience.
Sky Bridge is formed in 3 phases: the first phase is the art installation. In the early days of the installation (July 26-August 1), the silver mylar are flat, tidy, disciplined, and reached to perfection at the opening on August 1.
The second phase (second week and following weeks), with the interaction and intervention of visitors, pigeons, lion and dragon dancers, Taichi practitioners, dancers, runners, skateboarders, and most significantly, the wind every day, Sky Bridge is beginning to decay, or as the artist Beili Liu describes “disappeared pixels that reflect the natural occurrence of the foot path.”
The third phase is documenting and archiving the change on the bridge. Everyday, Chinese Culture Center staff records the change and conduct regular cleaning five days a week.
“From nothing to everything, then later back to nothing. Intense weather and intense labor then intense usage with intense wind. One work leads to multiple communities formation and interaction. This process has so far been amazing.” —- Curator and Artistic Director, Abby Chen.
Support for the Chinese Culture Foundation for the Central Subway Temporary Art Project by Central Subway, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco Arts Commission. General support for the CCF provided by Grants for the Arts, San Francisco Foundation. Community partners for the project are the Chinatown Community Development Center, Chinese Historical Society of America, and in collaboration with the Hilton hotel and other local businesses and merchants.
“Sky Bridge” August 3-31, 2015 Portsmouth Square Pedestrian Bridge 750 Kearny St. (between the Chinese Culture Center and Portsmouth Square) For more information, visit www.c-c-c.org Contact: Jenny Leung, [email protected]
About Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco:
Founded in 1965, the mission of the Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco is to spark intercultural discovery through art, education, and engagement. The organization provides engaging experiences with contemporary art at the intersection of social justice and culture. A leader in the arts, the CCF is one of the few organizations in the country promoting artists of Asian descent at its Visual Art Center. Engaging a growing international and national audience through art exhibits and public art, the CCF has curated at Asian Art Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Miami Beach Urban Studios, and in Hangzhou and New York among other locations. CCF has also developed deep ties in the community through educational and engagement activities. Over 148,000 constituents engaged in CCF programming last year.
About Beili Liu:
Beili Liu is an internationally exhibited artist born in northeast China. She moved to the United States in 1995, where she now lives and works. She attended the University of Michigan and the University of Tennessee, and now is an associate professor in the department of art and art history at the University of Texas. She has had solo exhibitions at prestigious venues around the world and received numerous awards for both her art and her teaching.
As featured on:
Central Subway Art Murals
Have you been to Wentworth Alley in Chinatown lately? If you have, you will notice the alleyway has come alive with murals. Artist Justin Hoover, created two murals in the alleyway, “Flying Dragon” and “Abstracted (Oceans)” on Wentworth Alley with Gold Mountain Society, a local calligraphy group that has been working with Hoover over the past two years in the Central Subway Art project.
We invite you to come visit the beautification of Chinatown!
You can learn more about these Chinatown murals and others on our weekly
Saturday Public Art Walk.
The Wentworth Alley Murals are produced for the Central Subway art project, which incorporate collaborative workshops in 2013 between artist Justin Hoover and Gold Mountain Society. Together, the artist and local Chinatown calligraphy group created poems about the Central Subway coming to Chinatown and in their efforts blended traditional art forms with contemporary practices and technology to connect Chinatown with San Francisco and the wider art community. The mural is a product of a truly collaborative effort and ability of both sides to learn from each other.
In “Flying Dragon” Hoover and Gold Mountain Society incorporate a poem depicting the pioneering efforts of Chinese in building the railroads. Hoover uses the color of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency as a base color palette. The dragon is silver to look like a train, and the calligraphy marks in the background serve as dragon claw marks that resemble either stairs like an escalator into the subway, or train tracks going into the distance. The traditional Chinese symbol of the dragon is redrawn in a nostalgic, 8-bit pixel art, reminiscent of early game culture to produce a re-imagined rendering of culture and connection to technology.
The artist incorporated a Dui Lian, or a traditional poetry form, depicting the hardship and pioneering contribution of early Chinese immigrants during the Gold Rush. “Digging for gold, (we) experience bitterness and tears. Building the railway, (we) are credited for its success.”
Consisting of two vertical sections of 7 characters each, the two lines have a one-to-one correspondence in their metrical length, and each pair of characters must have certain corresponding properties. A more literal translation is above.
Wentworth Alley, Abstracted (Ocean), Justin Hoover, Gold Mountain Society, 2014
For the next mural, the workshop inspired the “ocean” theme, which was selected as the color palette based on the colors in the poem. They are green and blue and silver/grey to evoke the subway’s metal train or the “steel dragon.” It is an unlikely color in Chinatown and unique to this piece, as most of the colors in Chinatown are reds, yellows, golds, highly chromatic bright colors, and the artist made a conscious choice to do cool opposites in grey, silver and blue. As the artist comments “It reminds me of the flow of the brush and the flow of water.” Calligraphy and a poem by Mr. Zheng of the Gold Mountain Society about the railroad from the workshop sessions were abstracted for texture. The Koi were added by Jeremy Novy as a finishing touch—a sign of good luck and prosperity to bring the piece into public space and onto the sidewalk.
中央地鐵壁畫 胡智騰, 金山詩藝會
|蓝天碧海暖融融||Green ocean, blue sky, a very nice and warm place.|
|賞覽金山坐鐵龍||Taking “steel dragon”(subway) to sightseeing the Gold Mountain (San Francisco).|
|華埠創新呈特色||Chinatown innovation presents special features.|
|耆英話舊顯愁容||When senior talked about the old time they became significantly sad.|
|華人築路辛酸史||Chinese railroad workers write a page of bitter history.|
|百載丹心卓越功||Deserves a great credit for hundred years of loyalty.|
|告慰先僑今勝昔||Today, to comfort these overseas ancestors is much better than the old time.|
|八方樂奏慶和衷||Music comes from all directions to sincerely celebrate the peace.|
|中央地鐵通華埠有感而作||For Central Subway Chinatown Station|
Walter U Lum Place, “Dragon and Phoenix, Central Subway Mural” Feng Jin, 2014
In this piece, the artist incorporates traditional symbols of the dragon and phoenix with his signature style.
SEE MORE MURALS HERE
About the Artists
Justin Hoover is a curator and time-based artist dealing with cultural translocation through body based performance, video and installation. His curatorial practices specializes innovative, collaborative, community-based projects.
Feng Jin’s work focuses on the evaluation of both American and Chinese cultures. One of his signature style uses twisted calligraphy-like characters, characters with no meaning, to represent language and communication.
About the Murals
The Murals are part of a larger two-year long art project called Central Subway – Journey to Chinatown, to engage the community and transform public spaces in Chinatown. Three murals are now completed in Wentworth Alley and Walter U Lum place, with a fourth on its way to be completed later this summer.
Upcoming events for Central Subway Art Project:
Fall 2014: Hou Yumei mural
2015: Beili Liu installation
CENTRAL SUBWAY ART PROJECT ENGAGE the public in the creation of artworks that celebrate the experiences of the Chinatown Community and Chinese-American immigration. 參與公眾創作的藝術作品，為慶祝華埠社區和美 籍華人移民的經歷。 CREATE a spectrum of artworks with visual, literary, and performing artists. 創造一系列包括有視覺，文學和表演藝術的藝術 作品。 CELEBRATE the values of traditional and contemporary aesthetics with the community. 慶祝傳統和當代美學價值互相結合的社區。 PROMOTE the value of the Central Subway to Chinatown and the SF community. 推廣中央地鐵由華埠鏈接到各舊金山社區的價 值。 Funded by the San Francisco Arts Commission as part of the Central Subway Temporary Projects Program 華埠之旅 是中華文化中心的兩年藝術計劃，由舊金山藝術委員會中央地鐵藝術方案贊助。中央地鐵短期藝術活動
Part of the Central Subway Art Project for Chinatown Station
In collaboration with Chinese Culture Foundation, Chinatown Community Development Center, with support from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the San Francisco Arts Commission, and Grants for the Arts.