Mabuhay Market Street! Art on Market Street Poster Series Finding Filipino Makes Its Official Debut

Vibrant illustrations of San Francisco’s Filipino community by Oakland-based artist, Rina Ayuyang will be on view along Market Street through June 2023

Vibrant illustrations of San Francisco’s Filipino community by Oakland-based artist, Rina Ayuyang will be on view along Market Street through June 2023

Finding Filipino by Rina Ayuyang, 2023, Art on Market Street Poster Series Program

SAN FRANCISCO, April 19, 2023 – The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) is thrilled to announce the installation of Finding Filipino, the second of four poster installments that have been commissioned for the 2023 Art on Market Street Poster Series program. 

Finding Filipino features 9 illustrated vignettes by Oakland-based artist Rina Ayuyang that commemorate the history and contributions made by the Filipino community in San Francisco. The works will be on view along Market Street between 7th and Steuart streets at 15 SFMTA transit shelters through June 2023. 

"The second poster series in our 2023 Art on Market Street Poster Series program is a poignant tribute to the rich legacy of the Filipino community in San Francisco,” said Ralph Remington, Director of Cultural Affairs. “The artist’s stunning artwork and personal storytelling helps spotlights the numerous contributions of Filipino Americans and offers a glimpse into the many facets and traditions of their community." 

The nine posters in Finding Filipino highlights various San Francisco neighborhoods, landmarks, and annual events around the City as they relate to Filipino American history, culture, and community. As one of the largest Asian groups in California, the Filipino community has faced a constant struggle for representation, especially in media and politics. Ayuyang believes that the Poster Series is an ideal platform to raise awareness of the Filipino community's stories of adversity, while also celebrating its triumphs. 

“I am so excited to have this opportunity to commemorate the Filipino immigration experience in America and spotlight the community’s enduring cultural impact and history of activism in San Francisco,” said Rina Ayuyang. “I wanted to pay homage to my family’s immigration story and to the generations of Filipinos who came before me and were determined to find a place to call home for themselves and their families here in San Francisco. Their contributions often go unnoticed because they are so interwoven in the fabric of the City, so I am proud to have their stories told in such a huge scale through these posters.” 

Featured in the nine vignettes, you will find: 

  • Filipino Beginnings in South Park: In the 1920s, Filipino merchant marines created a community in the South Park neighborhood. The poster explores their beginnings in contrast to the tech companies that have since taken over. 
  • Empowerment and Activism in Manilatown: The poster explores the once prospering Filipino community that neighbored Chinatown during the 20s and its history of displacement as seen through the eviction of I-Hotel and activism that emerged in the 70’s. 
  • A Park for an Olympic Champion: Born and raised in San Francisco, Victoria Manalo Draves became the first Asian American woman to win an Olympic Medal and the first female diver to win two gold medals at the Olympics. The poster explores how she overcame discrimination and segregation to pursue her dream. 
  • Art and Community Organizing in SOMA: Over 4,000 Filipinos and working-class residents were displaced from their homes due to the creation of Yerba Buena Center and Moscone Center. The poster details the community organizing to create a new neighborhood and renaming the streets after Filipino revolutionaries such as Jose Rizal, Lapu-Lapu, and Andres Bonifacio. 
  • Pistahan at Yerba Buena: The poster focuses on the annual celebration of Filipino art and culture, and how attending this event for the first time as a high school graduate from a white suburb in Pennsylvania, inspired and empowered Ayuyang as a Filipino American. 
  • Filipino Focus in The Mission and Excelsior: In the 80s, The Mission, especially Outer Mission and Excelsior District, became a hub for Filipinos. This poster highlights the Granada and Amazon Theaters which would screen Filipino movies, as well as Ayuyang’s parent’s beginnings in America, living in the Mission District. 
  • Aunties in The Avenues: This poster documents the support Ayuyang’s parents found through a thriving community on Geary Blvd., the foundation of one of many Filipino grassroot social organizations that aimed to support Filipino immigrants in the Bay Area. 
  • Parols and Adobo in the Financial District: From parol lantern-making and sending gifts through Balikbayan boxes, the poster celebrates the artistic and culinary traditions that bridge the gap between two countries that Filipinos call home. 
  • Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University (SFSU): The Ethnic Studies program at SFSU was the first ethnic studies program ever created in the country. The poster recognizes the impact of student activism and the professors who introduced Ayuyang to ethnic identity, cultural studies, and the rich history of Filipinos in America.

The 2023 Art on Market Street Poster Series theme, “Comics 2.0”, is a continuation of the 2022 poster series theme based on the artistic medium of comics. In addition to artist Rina Ayuyang, other artists that have been selected to be featured in 2023 include: Peter and Maria Hoey, Minnie Phan and Triple Dream Comics. 

The first installation of the 2023 series, Market Street Crossroads, on view from January to April, was created by siblings Peter and Maria Hoey, an award-winning illustrator-and-comic art team. Their poster series showcased the multitudes of people who pass through Market Street at different times each day utilizing different modes of transportation.  

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About the Art on Market Street Poster Series
The San Francisco Arts Commission has commissioned new artworks from artists on an annual basis since 1992 in partnership with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and Clear Channel. Now in its 31st year, the program has partnered with over 120 artists since its inception, commissioning over $1.2 million worth of art, showcasing a wide breadth of artistic styles, themes and topics centered around San Francisco. Up to four artists are commissioned annually by the Arts Commission to create a series of at least six unique works of art that responds to a theme specific to San Francisco. To learn more, visit sfartscommission.org/artonmarketstreet

About the San Francisco Arts Commission 
The San Francisco Arts Commission is the City agency that champions the arts as essential to daily life by investing in a vibrant arts community, enlivening the urban environment and shaping innovative cultural policy. Our programs include: Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Investments, Public Art, SFAC Galleries, and Art Vendor Licensing. To learn more, visit sfartscommission.org

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