ABOUT I ARTIST I TAN SIRINUMAS I SAN FRANCISCO
Tan Sirinumas' portrait photo for THHE AUCTION 2019; Hospitaity House Community Arts Program San Francisco. Photography: Zendesk Team
In 2013 I first began my involvement with several neighborhood organizations through my contact with the Hospitality House Community Arts Program (CAP). I was shy at first, but I began taking some of the classes offered at the Hospitality House studio. I started with workshops on the use of clay, silkscreening, painting. Eventually, I began to feel more comfortable speaking with other members. I enjoyed discussing art and hearing positive feedback on my work, something which was very new for me. Art became a way for me to be with other people.
As I continued to invest myself in the Hospitality House, I began to notice a change in my mental well-being. I truly began to see how art can heal me. I began to see how art could help me to build relationships with other community members. I slowly began to see that there was a kind of plant blooming within me, like a voice was rising up within - and I began to see that I could use my voice to inspire others and help others open up to some of the beauty inside themselves.
Film (rough cut) 2019. Film Maker: Matthew Joseph Bunker. 2019
It was eventually through my contacts with the Hospitality House that I was introduced to the Hidden Gems in the Tenderloin project, and that I began to develop a sense of exploration for my own neighborhood. In 2014, I became a member of the Wildflowers Institute as well as the Tenderloin People Congress. These decisions really drove me out of my comfort zone in terms of making art. It made me curious about the people in my community and at the same time, I came to realize that there were so many buildings in the Tenderloin from which to draw inspiration for my art. I’ve always loved design and architecture and I wanted to show how the current situation in the Tenderloin, the struggle, the vulnerability, the influence of money, and the importance of culture and history, has come to represent the people who live here. Not only that, I wanted to show the beauty that exists in the Tenderloin. I want to preserve that beauty and history of the Tenderloin.
Through my relationships with these various organizations, I have begun to challenge the limits of my own work. I have begun learning and experimenting with different technologies and resources to create new ways of approaching my art. Today, I see myself growing alongside these community organizations in helping the people of the Tenderloin to stay strong and thrive in our lives, despite the hardships we go through together.
Hospitality House Community Artist Spotlight: Tan Sirinumas