San Francisco’s main drag has recently gotten an artistic upgrade, thanks to a new exhibition shining a spotlight on local Asian American artists.
At 15 bus stops along Market Street from Seventh to the waterfront, pedestrians can see the posters printed with comics created by Oakland-based Vietnamese American illustrator Minnie Phan.
Her works highlight the stories of six late artists who were born and raised in San Francisco, or once resided here: Ruth Asawa, Bernice Bing, Loni Ding, James Leong, Martin Wong and Kaisik Wong.
"This project is a profound journey through the rich tapestry of Asian American history and culture in San Francisco,” Phan said in a statement. “It's an honor to pay tribute to the remarkable artists who have contributed to the city's artistic legacy.”
Each of the six two-sided posters has a portrait of the artist and Phan's biographical comic art. For example, the Bernice Bing poster features an illustration depicting her casually sitting on a chair, and the cartoon shows rabbit-like humans talking about Bing’s life.
The project, called “Art on Market Street Poster Series,” is led by the San Francisco Arts Commission and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and has hired multiple artists to design the posters.
The exhibition debuted during Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation week in mid-November to showcase San Francisco’s roots in Asian American culture to world leaders, though it’s unclear if any of the dignitaries in town saw them. It will continue through January, followed by a new series focused on the Bay Area’s Native American community.