Alive & Present: Cultural Belonging

in S.F. Chinatown and Manilatown

by Christine Wong Yap with 20 Contributors

"Alive & Present: Cultural Belonging in S.F. Chinatown and Manilatown" is an outdoor installation, English/Chinese comic book, and a self-guided "Walking Tour of Belonging!" 

Launch Date: October 13th, 2020 
On View 24/7 at 41 Ross 


Chinese Culture Center (CCC) in collaboration with the Chinatown Art & Culture Coalition presents bi-coastal artist Christine Wong Yap to explore belonging and resiliency in Chinatown. Through workshops facilitating community participation and online programs engaging everyone to share stories, Wong Yap encourages the public to reflect on what makes Chinatown so special. With few opportunities to tell the community’s stories, Wong Yap's work illuminates Chinatown’s impact as a “home” and a site for belonging for many一reaching far beyond its 3-by-8  block perimeter and across generations. 


The 56-page comic features real contributors’ perspectives on belonging and includes: 

  • 3 illustrated maps of 26 places of belonging

  • 5 personal histories: remembrances of special bonds with grandparents, family vacations, and memories of Manilatown and the I-Hotel

  • 4 spotlights on places of belonging: Portsmouth Square, Stockton Street, a boba café, and a youth empowerment program

  • 6 popular art and culture activities such as Lunar New Year, walking, listening, and—of course—eating!

Every now and then, we’ll drop off a limited number of comic books and maps at 41 Ross, free to take. The comic is also available @cccdesignstore if you would like to support and purchase a copy.

For more information about “Art, Culture & Belonging in Chinatown,”

please see CCC’s website or Christine Wong Yap’s website

Supported by:



Additional Support from: Fleishhacker Foundation, SF Arts & Artist Relief, Cal Humanities CARES Relief, Zellerbach Family Foundation, CCC Contemporaries


Made in Chinatown 心繫華埠  

Opening: Thursday, Feb 6, 2020, 4:30 – 7 pm


Developed by Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC), Made in Chinatown心繫華埠 showcases the role that Chinatown’s local businesses, with their unique products, play for shoppers in their daily lives and on special occasions. Artists Vida K 鄺楚瑩and Kelly Ma 馬慧欣illustrations that tell three shoppers’ journeys through the many stores and how they create foods and experiences for their families. 


San Francisco Chinatown’s many businesses provide shoppers with a wide variety of fresh, affordable, and hard-to-find items and ingredients. Many of these products are still made on site in the neighborhood – from Chinese sausages to silky tofu, from printed wedding invitations to custom dresses. Chinatown continues to be a destination for Chinese Americans hoping to maintain and rediscover their cultural heritage and create lasting memories amongst their family and friends.


Made in Chinatown will be on view from Thursday, February 6 through Sunday, March 22, 2020. This exhibit is in association with Spotlight Chinatown, a neighborhood marketing program supported in part by the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA).






「心繫華埠」將從周四,1月30日展覽到星期日,2020年3月22日。該展覽與Spotlight Chinatown聯合製作,一個獲得三藩市經濟及勞動力發展辦公室(OEWD)和三藩市交通局(MTA)支持的社區經濟發展項目。這次舊呂宋巷41號畫展是由美國克雷奇基金會和地方創業支持聯盟慷慨贊助。


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Chinatown Community Development Center’s new exhibit highlights the tireless efforts of Chinatown community leaders who have effectively advocated for public transportation and pedestrian safety. Visual artists Bijun Liang and Vida Kuang have illustrated the many transportation journeys to Chinatown in the exhibit.

Movement: Transportation Justice in Chinatown
Location: 41 Ross Alley
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 17th, 4:30-6:30 pm

Exhibit Dates and Hours:
October 3 – November 30, 2019
Thursdays to Sundays, 11 am – 4 pm

Our Intergenerational Stories: Home 

口述攝影故事: 歲月心聲

Exhibition dates: July 7 – July 31, 2019

Centered in San Francisco’s Chinatown, Chinese for Affirmative Action’s (CAA)  immigrant members tell their own stories to redefine and reshape the narrative of Chinese immigrants through the mediums of oral storytelling and photography.

About Intergenerational Oral Storytelling and Photography Workshop Series

口述摄影班  (Intergenerational Oral Storytelling and Photography Workshop Series) is a 6-month project sprungout of a goal to redefine and reshape the narrative of Chinese immigrants through storytelling, rooted in the reality of working classimmigrant struggle. We understand that storytelling is a powerful tool used to tell history, create movements, and mobilize masses for social change. Centered in San Francisco’s Chinatown, Chinese for Affirmative Action’s (CAA)  immigrant members tell their own stories and decide how their stories will be used to engage larger Chinatown community in deeperdialogue around family and immigration through the medium of audio storytelling and photography. Immigrant families take part a seven-part workshop series facilitated by artists, Mlinand Vida K. Community members will have the opportunity to practice storytelling from a place of power, to assert their agency, shape their own narrative, and advocate for others through the power of voice. Throughout the art-making process, families are able to deepen their connections to one another through a shared project where they learn about themselves and each other.  

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ABOUT Toolbox Percussion 敲擊襄


Toolbox Percussion has been driving percussive arts programming in Hong Kong since 2012, curating ambitious music projects and challenging the best in the field whilst also continually nurturing new musical talent in innovative ways. 

Toolbox Percussion, as a creative incubator, works to make new music happen by commissioning, developing, collaborating, professional training, performing, recording and touring contemporary performances. 

The acclaimed Toolbox Percussion Trilogy, spread over a time span of 3-year, has been a proven success in creating cutting-edge and innovative programmes that challenged local artists, enhanced cultural exchange by collaborating with world-class musicians and developed a series of outreach and professional educational activities. 

Over the past seasons, Toolbox Percussion will be on tour to Asia Culture Center at Gwangju in South Korea and make its US debut at the San Francisco International Arts Festival. A New education initiatives Toolbox International Creative Academy (TICA) in joint effort with the University of Oklahoma launched in January 2019, providing professional apprenticeship opportunity through specifically focused area of studies and learning occasions with industry professionals.

Toolbox Percussion is currently one-year grantee of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.


A double listen
: 襄音


The mechanisms of creating percussive sound are so versatile that musicians or composer are far from fully exploring them. The exhibition titled “A double listen”, serving as a dossier, features many of these past aesthetic attempts from performances in a theatre setting: Lam Fung’s “Round” (2016), Austin Yip’s "Urban Construction” (2017), Ken Ueno’s “Mother of Fire” (2018) and Samson Young’s “Glass Chimes” (2019). These 
endeavours, encompassing traits of quotidian pastime, literariness, metallurgy and engineering, were yet to be wholly unraveled if it is performed and perceived just once. Annotated with decorative embellishment, this exhibition avails one ineluctable gaze, or we phrase it “a second listen”, to anchor all the interconnecting knots in between seemingly separate pieces.   

Works of Toolbox Percussion is showcased in this exhibition, hosted by Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, for the first time in the United States. 




The Body Electric


Exhibition dates: April 17 – May 19, 2019

Exhibit Hours: Thursdays – Sundays,

11 am – 4 pm

41 Ross Alley, San Francisco 94108

Opening Reception: April 17, 6-8 pm

Opening night will also present a chair conversation with ALEXANDMUSHI and poetry reading from JiaJing Liu

Additional Programming:

May 4 from 2-3:30 pm Crossing Walls with Astrid Kaemmerling

The Body Electric is an exhibition curated by re.riddle developed in collaboration with 41 Ross Alley and The Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco for their series Present Tense 2019: Task of Remembrance, which brings together projects that reflect on the complexities, gravity, and responsibility of remembering.

The Body Electric is a group exhibition that interprets the task of remembrance by spotlighting the corporeality of memory. The exhibition aims to examine the ways in which the human body functions as vessels for memory—and specifically, how memory impacts the flesh. The exhibition is on view from April 17 - May 19, 2019 and is free and open to the public with an opening reception on April 17th from 6-8pm. The opening reception will feature a 30 minute chair conversation with artists ALEXANDMUSHI, who will use a nonverbal language to communicate and learn about each other’s histories along with a poetry reading from author JiaJing Liu.


The Body Electric examines the potency of memory embodied in gestures and habits in relation to 'indirect' modes of memory via inscribing, recording or documenting. Corporeal memory may be characterized as being an embodied memory and/or an embodied remembering. Embodied remembering situates memory as being intrinsic to the body, because it re-enacts the past, it need not represent it. As such, the exhibition will consider motion, action, activity, and gesture of memory as it pertains to flesh and surface of the body. Artists ALEXANDMUSHI, Daniela Baldell & Émile Noteris, Mark Baugh-Sasaki, Takming Chuang, Yosh Han, Summer Mei-Ling Lee, Lan Liu, Little Warsaw, Patricia Reinhart, Gabriele Stötzer, Wong Kit Yi and Shadi Yousefian will present their various approaches and perspectives, ranging from mid-20th century to contemporary views, on how memory impacts the flesh.

“Tsui Kuang-Yu - Exercise Living:Stay Calm” 

崔廣宇 - 當代生活習作:沉著


“Exercise Living: Stay Calm” is a special project that will be on view 24/7 on the window of 41 Ross.

Exhibition dates: March 11 – April 7, 2019

Exhibit Hours: 24/7

41 Ross Alley, San Francisco 94108

When you think you are eating a chicken drumstick that you cannot see, are you still eating a drumstick? In a series of performance videos, collectively entitled Exercise Living, Tsui transforms quotidian scenes we are familiar with into sites of performance through his actions.

Scenes of pigeons, wanderers, the Goddess of Democracy, and playing children juxtaposing against the inspirational writing--“Stay Calm”--atop the pavilion in Portsmouth Square. Much like the real world, absurdities become more unsurprising as everyday contradictions become habitual.






About the Artist :
He was born in Taipei, Taiwan in 1974. In 1997 he graduated from National Institute of the Arts and has exhibited internationally since, including Venice Biennale, Liverpool Biennale, Reina Sofia Museum, Chelsea Art Museum, Mori Museum, OK Centrum.

Supporters: Mayor's Office Community Challenge Grants Program, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, Grants for the Arts

Special thanks to the Asian Cultural Council

Chinatown Sweets and Pastries 


Chinatown Sweets and Pastries Facebook B

This exhibit celebrates sweet stories and memories of San Francisco Chinatown’s candies, baked goods and desserts.



Exhibition dates: January 24 – February 24, 2019

Exhibit Hours: Thursdays – Sundays, 11 am – 4 pm

41 Ross Alley, San Francisco 94108

Opening Reception: January 25, 5-8 pm


展覽日期: 1/24 – 2/24


開幕: 1月25日,星期二,晚上5時至8時


41 Ross Alley gallery will be exhibiting Chinatown Sweets and Pastries from Thursday, January 24 through Sunday, February 24, 2019. This exhibition curated by Chinatown Community Development Center explores the role that Chinatown’s sweets and pastries play for residents in their daily lives and on holidays and special occasions. This exhibit focuses on San Francisco Chinatown’s vibrant and unique culinary traditions at AA Bakery, Dragon Papa, Garden Bakery, iCafe, Ming Ming Store, and New Asia. These places sell everything from dragon’s beard candy and egg tarts, to red bean buns, candied fruit, and sweet soup dumplings. These foods are more than just sustenance and a sugary indulgence for the soul – these foods help provide Chinese Americans with an identity and community built on shared meals and a little bit of sweetness.  The exhibit features photographs and a film by Emma Marie Chiang with assistance from Martin Peter Bustamante, stories gathered by Vida K, and a lighted sign installation by Tiffany Hsieh and Brandon Ly.





In association with Spotlight Chinatown, a program of Chinatown Community Development Center supporting neighborhood commerce and community. Chinatown Sweets and Pastries is supported by the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA), and Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The exhibit is also is generously supported by The Kresge Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).

Spotlight Chinatown、華協中心合辦的社區經濟發展項目。此展覽聯同華埠消費活動合辦 - 由華協中心主辦以支持社區内小商業的計劃。這活動得到市長辦公室經濟及勞動發展部(OEWD)、三藩市運輸局(MTA)和三藩市中華總商會的支持。舊呂宋巷 41 號由The Kresge Foundation 和 Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) 贊助。  #chinatownsweets

Infinite Cycle 無限循環

Location: 41 Ross Alley


6PM - 8PM

Artist Talk : 9.12.2018


Dates and hours: 

9.11.2018  – 10.21.2018

Thu-Sun, 11 am - 4 pm



The mirrior HK75x50cm
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Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, in partnership with Bamboo Curtain Studio of Taiwan and WMA of Hong Kong, presents “Infinite Cycle,” an art intervention and exhibition that convenes diverse artistic voices to address how social-minded arts organizations -- and artists as individuals situated within specific geological contexts -- leverage civic awareness of environmental issues through art. The group exhibition explores how art practice and institutional model can be incorporated into the cycle of environmental sustainability, and what that translates back to inform and influence the community at large. As an affiliated event of the Global Climate Action Summit, the exhibition is an invitation to join the global creative conversations around the urgency of taking action and demanding change, calling attention to decision-making processes that are dominated by the mainstream.


舊金山中華文化中心與台灣竹圍工作室和香港WMA合作,推出「無限循環」,一場匯集多元化思想的介入和展覽。「無限循環」探討了具有社會意識的文化組織 ,以及在特定環境下作為個體的藝術家,通過藝術來提升公民對環境問題的意識。本次群展討論如何將創意實踐和製度模式納入環境可持續性的循環中。 作為 Global Climate Action Summit, 的附屬活動,該展覽圍繞採取行動和要求變革的緊迫性的全球對話,呼籲大家關注主流主導的決策過程。


Gao Ling, The Mirror: Hong Kong (The Big Mist Art Project) , 2014. The Mirror Series, a collection of photographs of different cities, uses an absurd aesthetic visual language to warn of how air pollution can bring a city to its extremities. The Mirror: Hong Kong is one city portrayed in The Mirror Series. Courtesy of the Artist.

Supported by: Community Challenges Grant
Additional support: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Grants for the Arts, CCC Contemporaries\
BCS funding is supported by Ministry of Culture of Taiwan (The Rainbow Initiative Funds)

藝術展華埠: Chinatown’s Public Art 

Location: 41 Ross Alley

Opening: August 10

Dates and hours: 

August 9  – 26, 2018

Thu-Sun, 11 am - 4 pm


開幕: 7月27日,晚上5時至7時

展覽日期: 7/27 - 8/26/2018

開放時間: 逢星期四至日,上午11時至下午4時 

Liminal 1

41 Ross Alley gallery will be exhibiting 藝術展華埠: Chinatown’s Public Art from Thursday, August 9 through Sunday, August 26, 2018. This exhibit features the ways that art has defined and beautified the Chinatown neighborhood -- from the colorful murals, to pagoda-styled architecture, to the everyday practices of tai chi and Cantonese opera performed on the streets and parks. The gallery will also be a studio for a new mosaic mural in progress, created by the youth of Chinatown Community Development Center working with visual artist Margarita Soyfertis.  Chinatown’s Public Art explores how artists and community members enhance the neighborhood through creative expressions, often incorporating community history and cultural traditions, so that people view the neighborhood in new and memorable ways.

Womxn, Omen, Wǒmén in Chinatown: Reimagining Symbols of Power and Access


MAY 4 - JUNE 17, 2018


Womxn, Omen, Wǒmén in Chinatown: Reimagining Symbols of Power and Access is a project aiming to engage emerging female artists to work within the context of Chinatown to explore the ways that cultural signifiers shape relationships to power and access. Working with the lead artist Laura Boles Faw who initiates the concept, three participating artists including Bijun Liang, Shisi Huang and Vida K will explore issues of gender and struggles for equity in the neighborhood and beyond while building connections with community members. Their individual projects will activate the community through a variety of approaches including an interactive installation inspired by the Chinese wishing well, a movable chatting room sparking in-depth conversation, and multi-sites audio portraits based on storytelling workshop. 

Project support:

Community Challenge Grant, California Art Council, Wells Fargo Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission


Additional support:

Grants for the Arts, CCC Contemporaries

Chinatown Home Cooking


FEB 2, 2018 – APR 15, 2018

An exhibit featuring local chefs creating a taste of home through, shopping, cooking, and eating.


Home chefs are purveyors of everyday sustenance and keepers of culinary techniques and traditions which span generations.  San Francisco’s Chinatown plays a key role as a destination for Chinese American home chefs hoping to maintain and rediscover their culinary and cultural roots – patronizing their favorite grocery and dried foods stores that form the heart of neighborhood’s economy.  Chinatown’s many businesses provide these chefs with a wide variety of fresh, affordable, and hard-to-find ingredients for traditional home-cooked meals.  While the spread of large Asian supermarkets around the Bay Area speaks to the impact of Chinese cuisine on broader American society, the oldest Chinatown in the United States still remains a destination for home chefs who visit daily, weekly, or monthly, many having done so for decades.

In association with Spotlight Chinatown (link to A program of Chinatown Community Development Center supporting neighborhood commerce and community. Chinatown Home Cooking is supported by the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA), and Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The 41 Ross gallery is generously supported by The Kresge Foundation.

Peace Movements 

OCT 22, 2017 – JAN 7, 2018

In partnership with Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco and Chinatown Community Development Center,

funded by San Francisco Arts Commission IAC program, Peace Movements is a ten-week durational installation artwork by artist Justin Hoover and a cohort of performers and collaborators. Through an environmental installation that will change and evolve weekly, Hoover investigates the contradictions of fighting as a form of peace and resistance as a form of justice. Furthermore, Hoover expands on his recent work exploring the knife-edge balance of violence and non-violence. Public viewers are prompted to investigate movement, meditation, and presence within an immersive installation environment.

Special thanks to the San Francisco Arts Commission, Community Challenge Grants Program, Chinatown Community Development Center and the Chinatown community.

Participating or included artists: Tra Bouscaren, Nanda D'Agostino, Justin Hoover, Jalessa Johnston, Melissa Wyman, Chris Treggiari, Yunuen Rhi, Michael Zheng and Chinatown Youth. 


CTA at 30: POWER in UNITY 逆風無畏

AUG 3 – SEP 10, 2017



Starting in 1987 when a group of tenants banded together to fight against a pending eviction due to redevelopment of the Orangeland market building, CTA has become a leader in San Francisco’s housing advocacy community with its roots firmly established in fighting unjust evictions and advocating for those in need.  This exhibit celebrates the 30th anniversary of CTA’s members, actions, and role in the community through stories, film, photos, and ephemera of its 1500 members.

Evictions and the threat of displacement put a great burden and stress on vulnerable seniors and families. Throughout its 30 years, CTA has played a key role in organizing efforts, galvanizing and uniting tenants to fight evictions, and keeping hope alive. Many tenants join CTA after they seek assistance and support in fighting their own evictions. Members recognize that many others face displacement and evictions and they collectively work to ensure the future of affordable housing in San Francisco. As the current CTA president once said, “We aren’t home, until we all are home.”





MAY 17 - JULY 16, 2017


The Chinese Culture Center (CCC) of San Francisco continued its Present Tense exhibition series with New Urban Legend: Resistance of Space, an exhibition featuring four international site-specific projects that engage with local communities in an exploration of urban spaces and the issues embedded in them. New Urban Legend includes video, photography, and objects from works by Bay Area artists Weston Teruya and Laura Boles Faw, as well as two large scale projects in China involving more than 25 artists—one headed up by curator Man Yu in the Pearl River Delta, and the other by co-curators Michelle Wong and Wei Leng Tay in Hong Kong. The exhibition is curated by CCC Assistant Curator Ziying Duan and overseen by CCC artistic director and curator Abby Chen.

New Urban Legend: Resistance of Space is CCC’s third exhibition in the Present Tense series, designed to showcase fresh perspectives on contemporary culture in Chinese and Chinese American communities and to serve as a platform for young, emerging artists in the Bay Area and beyond. Launched in 2007, the series has included Future Perfect curated by Glen Helfand (2015) and Chinese Character curated by Kevin B. Chen (2009) in collaboration with CCC curators.

Opening view of New Urban Legend Resistance of Space. Courtesy of Chinese Culture Center of San Fran
Installation view of New Urban Legend Resistance of Space. Courtesy of Chinese Culture Center of San
Installation view of New Urban Legend Resistance of Space. Courtesy of Chinese Culture Center of San

Eat Chinatown 

華埠 [人。情。味]

January 20 – April 23, 2017, Thursday-Sunday, 11 am – 4 pm


EAT CHINATOWN is a photo exhibit at 41 Ross that commemorates classic Chinatown restaurants, diners and bakeries that have been operating for at least 40 years. Photographer Andria Lo and writer Valerie Luu (founders of Chinatown Pretty, a street-style blog that documents Chinatown seniors) profiled four eateries and their faithful patrons to understand San Francisco Chinatown’s food culture.

The exhibit focuses on four well-loved restaurants: New Lun Ting Cafe (also known as Pork Chop House), Capital Restaurant, Hon’s Wun-Tun House, and Eastern Bakery.  Eastern Bakery is the oldest Chinese bakery in North America, having been established in 1924. The show also remembers eateries that have since closed over the years -- such as Empress of China --  but are still reminisced by Chinatown residents and San Franciscans.



Social Botany in San Francisco


Research Presentations (Sep-Nov.2016)


Social Botany in San Francisco is artist Xu Tan’s unique art experiment that negotiates the relations between local communities and contemporary art. In Social Botany in San Francisco, artist Xu Tan uses the plant migration as a metaphor for immigration in the Bay Area. After his broader research in between November 2015 to March 2016, Xu Tan narrowed his selection to investigate Chinese Americans with three shared identities: community workers, social activists, and artists. Social Botany in San Francisco’s three research presentations curated by Ziying Duan (September 2016 - November 2016) focus on: urban planner and social movement documentarist Roy Chan; saxophonist and social activist Francis Wong; and comic artist, educator, and social activity organizer Kayan Cheung-Miaw. At 41 Ross, Xu Tan’s collaborative research with the arts-activists and curator culminates in presentations of videos, images, and documented conversations. 

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Made in Chinatown 華埠製做


Made in Chinatown celebrates the achievements and impact of the Chinatown Community Development Center’s youth programs in the neighborhood over the last twenty-five years. The exhibit features photographs, a short documentary film, a full-scale lego model of their neighborhood, and an interactive map.  Visitors are invited to share their memories and vision of Chinatown, as all of us, in some way, are “Made in Chinatown.”




May 20 - July 24, 2016


Everyone can have an American Dream.


3650 is a rounded counting of the number of days in a ten-year period, the amount of time that Mr. Zhao lived, studied, and dreamed in his SRO unit. The exhibition’s Chinese title 衣錦還鄉 is the classical Chinese idiom, “to return home in silken robes,” which describes the homeward journey of one who has traveled far, now laden with riches earned during their time away. In veteran journalist David Huang's debut solo exhibition, the story not only reveals inside portrayal of SRO residency in San Francisco Chinatown, but also shifts the dominant narrative of Chinese American new immigrants.


Chinatown Pretty 

December 4 2015 - April 17 2016


It’s about layers of hand-knit sweaters and puffy coats in the summer; as well as bold floral patterns and baseball caps – sometimes all in one outfit. It combines urban utilitarianism with unexpected sartorial selections that makes the heart go a-flutter. It celebrates the ingenuity, flair, and beauty of San Francisco Chinatown and its longtime residents. Chinatown Pretty brings us joy and we hope it will put a smile on your face too.


Chinatown Pretty was created by Andria Lo and Valerie Luu, two friends who love dim sum and chasing after pretty po-pos (grandmas). They started Chinatown Pretty blog after their project was featured as a story, Chinatown Sartorialist, on The Bold Italic. For the article, they shot portraits and interviewed seniors in Chinatown whose outfits reminded us of their grandmothers. The experience brought the artists so much joy and inspiration that they wanted to continue capturing their unique style and stories.

Social Botany (Project Launch)

November 2015 - March 2016

After piloting Keywords School, a successful art engagement model in San Francisco Chinatown in 2014, internationally renowned artist Xu Tan is back with a new project partnering with Chinese Culture Center, Social Botany. The project delves into the planting and gardening activities of people’s practices and how they are impacted by larger social change such as migration, urbanization, gentrification, and globalization. Interviewing people across different cultures and regions in his unique artist-as-social-scientist method, Xu Tan will begin his research phase in San Francisco and conduct interviews, lead seminars, and while exhibiting curated video works of Social Botany at 41 Ross in Fall 2016.


Come and Go

July 7 - Oct 18 2015

41 Ross is pleased to present Come and Go, an opening exhibition of photography works by Ben Kwan. Featuring selected black and white photos of San Francisco Chinatown in the 1980s, Come and Go showcases Ben Kwan’s unique perspective as a ‪‎community resident, ‪journalist, and ‪‎artist. In this collection, one can recall the memories of living in this busy neighborhood as well as imagining a challenging political environment near the end of the twentieth century. 

Hang Ah Alley Project

‪Winter 2015

During the winter of 2015, 41 Ross was used as an interactive studio for the creation of a mosaic mural in nearby Hang Ah Alley by local artist Margarita Soyfertis and 12 youth leaders of Chinatown Community Development Center’s Adopt-An-Alleyway (AAA) and Youth for Single Room Occupancy (YSRO) Leadership Projects. The artwork, entitled “Blooming on Fragrance Alley”, is a collage of images to reflect the youth’s Chinese American heritage and youthful generation with the overlaying theme of a “blooming” garden. Completing the first mosaic mural ever in Chinatown, the team hopes their work will beautify and activate the alley.



Shadow Light Workshop

July 2015‪

In July, in cooperation with the Chinatown Community Development Center, the Shadow Light Company has conducted a 6 session workshop with a group of SRO (single room occupancy) children of 7-11 years of age, to learn the art of shadow play, and at the same time to explore their inner potential.  The performance these children created at the end of the workshop showcases their imagination, their artistic talent, and their creativity beyond the confined 4 walls of the tiny room they call home.  With this proven success we are further encouraged to consider future workshops for participants of different age groups and economic backgrounds. 


Keywords School

2013 - 2014

Keyword School is a participatory workshop launched by the Chinese Culture Center in partnership with the Chinatown Community Development Center over the course of 2013-2014. International artist Xu Tan set up this social practice art experiment and led Chinatown youth to create and collect “key words” from their daily lives. Together they brought projects such as artistic murals into the streets of Chinatown that allowed participants to explore art in their neighborhood, to develop social awareness about their surroundings, and to appreciate the social climate of Chinatown.