Barley Sculpture at Block Fest

Originally from Thailand, I have been living in the Tenderloin district for nearly ten years. As a child in Thailand, I used to enjoy the scenery of tall grasses and rice fields. Though I spent much of my time in Bangkok growing up, whenever I returned home to the countryside to see my family I would drive through the fields and feel the calmness of nature and a gentle reprieve from the city. Here in San Francisco, I have found that the use of nature’s materials brings a return to this sense of calmness and home. I create sculptures using barley and other natural fibers, deconstructing each plant stem and reworking them into new geometric forms. Each sculpture features the organic nature of its original form, but with an explosive energy that summons something new and dynamic.


Project: The Artist Activator public art opportunity is for artists working in and with the communities of the Tenderloin, or with interest in doing so. Artist Activators will partner with CounterPulse, Central City S.R.O. Collaborative (CCSROC) and Tenderloin residents to design projects to feature at a monthly Block Fest on Turk Street between Mason Street and Taylor Street. Every first Friday of the month from 3PM-4:30PM CounterPulse, CCSROC, and Artist Activators will animate the block with art, culture, and community with Block Fest. We hope to celebrate what makes the Tenderloin special, elevate underheard community concerns, and engage our neighbors in art-making and sharing.



Starring Tan Sirinumas
Directed & Edited – Matthew Bunker
Cinematography – Ryan Matthew Hagerty Moore
Producers – Matthew Bunker & Helen Bean
Composer – Dalton Corr
Color & Finishing – Neal Kumar Moorthy
Assistant Camera – Benjamin Rehm & Zack Fuson
Grip – Jessica Schlegel
Production Assistant – Adriana Abrams-Wolffsohn


Hospitality House Community Artist Spotlight: Tan Sirinumas

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.