Courtesy of the Bernice Bing Estate.

Courtesy of the Bernice Bing Estate.

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Divided Attentions: “The Worlds of Bernice Bing” | Samsung Hall, Asian Art Museum | September 28, 2014, 2-4pm

As part of Asian Contemporary Art Week, Asian American Women Artists Association, Asian Art Museum, Asia Society, and Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) presents The Worlds of Bernice Bing, a documentary short film illuminating the life and times of visionary artist, Bingo—fine artist, community activist, lesbian, and Asian American.

Through archival footage and interviews with scholars, colleagues, and friends, the film documents the importance of Bing’s place in American art history. From her art studio in North Beach, to her groundbreaking community work to her later life in rural northern California, Bing chose not to follow the trends of the day and created art on her own terms. The film tells the powerful and inspirational story of a unique American icon of the arts, finally giving Bingo the attention she so well deserves.

The screening will be followed by an audience Q&A featuring award-winning director Madeleine Lim and the film’s collaborators: Jennifer Banta Yoshida, Lenore Chinn, and Nancy Hom, leading to a captivating panel discussion with a diverse panel of voices from Bing’s communities. Featured panelists include: interdisciplinary artist and California College of Arts Fine Arts professor, Kim Anno; writer, solo performer, and doctoral student at Stanford University’s Theater and Performance Studies program, Thao Nguyen; and self-taught internationally recognized artist, Malik Seneferu. Engage with moderator Tina Takemoto, multidisciplinary artist, associate professor of Visual Studies at California College of the Arts, and board president of the Queer Cultural Center; as she examines how and if artists are still pressured to compartmentalize their identities in order to maintain relevance in contemporary art.

ADMISSION: $15 (includes admission to the museum). BUY TICKETS


Jen Banta Yoshida, co-producer and project director

Lenore Chinn, collaborator

Nancy Hom, collaborator

Madeleine Lim, director and producer


Tina Takemoto, moderator

Kim Anno, panelist

Thao P. Nguyen, panelist

Malik Seneferu, panelist

  Crocker Art Museum Screening | The Crocker Art Museum | June 26, 2014

“Riding the waves of American history, ‘The Worlds of Bernice Bing’ explores the life and art of this Abstract Expressionist painter, Beat-era Existentialist, Buddhist, feminist, activist, and Chinese American lesbian…Directed by award-winning filmmaker Madeleine Lim, the film tells the powerful and inspirational story of a unique American icon of the arts.” The screening, which is part of a special Pride Month program, will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s collaborators: Jennifer Banta Yoshida and Lenore Chinn.

CAAMFest | Castro Theatre | March 16, 2014

The Worlds of Bernice Bing was the featured film closing out the OUT/HERE shorts, a program of local queer themes. “A lush tribute to Bernice Bing — the little-known foremother of Asian American avant-garde art. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Madeleine Lim, this film does justice to her legacy as a San Francisco icon, abstract expressionist painter, Chinese lesbian, Beat era Buddhist, feminist and activist.”

Athena Film Festival | Diana Center’s Glicker-Milstein Black Box Theater | February 9, 2014

The film’s New York premiere. “Chinese American lesbian artist Bernice Bing is known for creating art on her own terms. The film illuminates her life, from her art studio in the epicenter of San Francisco’s beat scene to her groundbreaking community work in rural northern California.”


AAWAA VIP Screening | Private Residence | December 5, 2013

AAWAA hosted a private VIP screening in San Francisco for 25 special guests alongside hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and a special Abstract Expressionist-inspired dinner honoring the life and times of Bernice Bing.


Cocktails and Hors d’Oeuvres Served

Film Screening

Audience Q&A Followed by Short AAWAA Presentation


Mills College | Danforth Lecture Hall | November 19, 2013

The Mills Studio Art Collective held a screening of The Worlds of Bernice Bing at the Danforth Lecture Hall. The 34 minute film was directed by Madeleine Lim in collaboration with Bing scholar Jennifer Banta Yoshida and was produced by AAWAA and Queer Women of Color Media Projects. The screening was followed by a Q&A and a panel featuring Jennifer Banta Yoshida, Art History Professor Moira Roth, Lenore Chinn, and Flo Oy Wong.

  de Young Museum Premiere | Koret Auditorium | September, 13, 2013

On September 13th an enthusiastic audience filled the de Young’s auditorium for a wildly successful screening of AAWAA’s new documentary film, The Worlds of Bernice Bing.

Scholars from many of the Bay Area’s academic institutions – Mills College, California College of the Arts, and San Francisco Art Institute were in the house. Bing’s relatives, dear friends, and a virtual who’s who of Asian American activists and artists from a wide spectrum of creative fields – film, writing, costume and textile design were moved by the inspiring story of Bing’s life and contributions to the American cultural landscape.

The evening was an exhilarating and historic moment, an homage to our local heroine in the arts, Bernice Bing.

“We’re thrilled to be part of such a momentous and moving occasion. Bravo to all who have put forth their time, energy, love, heart, & sacrifice in creating such a treasured memory for my cousin! I feel that with the way it was presented, it will reach everyone’s heart at a level where they can relate to the difficult challenges, and opportunities to overcome them. Bernice shows us the way and that nothing is insurmountable.” -Joana Young, cousin of Bernice


Opening Poem & Introduction: Flo Oy Wong and Cynthia Tom of AAAWAA

Film Screening

Q&A: Jennifer Banta Yoshida, Lenore Chinn, Madeleine Lim, and Rudy Lemcke; moderated by Mark Dean.

Queer Women of Color Film Festival | Brava Theater | June 16, 2013

“Riding the waves of American history from a ’30s Depression-era orphanage to the rising feminist and Asian American movements of the ’70s, The Worlds of Bernice Bing explores this life of this little-known Abstract Expressionist painter, Beat-era Existentialist, Buddhist and Chinese American lesbian.” The Worlds of Bernice Bing‘s very first premiere, it closed the last round of shorts as well as the entire film festival. The film was later awarded the QWOCMAP Audience Choice.