COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT I NOVEMBER, 2016 I WILDFLOWERS INSTITUTE I TENDERLOIN
Hidden Artistic Gems in the Tenderloin Award
What Layer, 2015 - Collage
Originally from Thailand, Eakapong Tan Sirinumas is a full-time, community-based artist who primarily works with clay, acrylics, pastels and found materials to create images focused on local San Francisco architecture. Themes of personal struggle, urban decay, spiritual renewal and the struggles of finding home in a complicated urban environment resonate throughout Tan’s works.
His pieces are a meeting of raw artistic material and laser engraving technology, brought together to create multi-layered, three-dimensional paintings that pay homage to the history of San Francisco’s diverse neighborhoods and communities.
Tan creates 3-D collages and sculptures which work to articulate the meeting of nature and design. His works are meant to highlight the elements in his urban environment that give him a sense of fulfillment and a feeling of being at home. Working closely in alliance with several community organizations, Tan credits the Hospitality House with providing him a place where he can find learning and a peace of mind.
He says it is through places like the Hospitality House that he has had the opportunity to develop his skills and explore himself through his artwork. Tan sees the Tenderloin as a place where there are many layers of history and diversity - and where, even though change is inevitable, there is always a place that remains where he can call home.
Tan Sirinumas is working on paper collage at his studio apartment in the Tenderloin, San Francisco
Photo: Wildflowers Institute, 2017
What Layer - Hidden Gems in the TL Award Ceremony at Kelly Cullum, San Francisco
Visual Art Awardee, 2017
TAN PAINTS THE TENDERLOIN
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.