Filmmaker: Madeline Lim, 2013, U.S., 34 mins

Language: English Subtitles: No

The Worlds of Bernice Bing explores the life, activism and art of this Abstract Expressionist painter, radical thinker, Buddhist, feminist, and Chinese American lesbian.

Riding the waves of American history, The Worlds of Bernice Bing examines the life, activism and art of this Abstract Expressionist painter, beat-era existentialist, Buddhist, feminist, activist, and Chinese American lesbian. This poignant documentary is a lush tribute to Bernice Bing, the little-known foremother of Asian American avant-garde art and does justice to her legacy as a San Francisco icon.

The film documents the importance of Bing’s art and life’s work in American Art history using archival footage and interviews with scholars, colleagues and friends. Rather than following the trends of the day, Bing created art on her own terms, from her art studio in North Beach, to her groundbreaking community work and her later life in rural northern California. This short puts her life and art into perspective as groundbreaking and inspirational models for the present day.

Read Lydia Matthews “Quantum Bingo,” about Bing’s critical place in American Art History, written for a 1999 retrospective of Bing’s work at the SOMA Cultural Center.

For more on the film and Bernice Bing:
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