Bernice Bing (1936 – 1998) A San Francisco native, Chinese American, artist, lesbian, community activist–Bernice Bing, 62, was a bridge between many worlds. She came of age during the Beat era and entered the San Francisco arts landscape in the 1960s with her paintings, which synthesize abstract modernist painting with Chinese calligraphy.
With texts by Moira Roth, Diane Tani, Flo Wong, and Valerie Soe; we are very honored and proud to present the work of this important artist. Qcc would like to thank the family of Bernice Bing for allowing us to reproduce her work for this presentation. The Bernice Bing project was organized for Qcc by Rudy Lemcke and Lenore Chinn.
By Bernice Bing
Reprinted from the Asian American Women’s Artists Association Catalogue
Asian American Women Artists Association
San Francisco, 1998
When I was an art student, I came to the realization that a brush felt more comfortable and familiar in my hand than a pencil. Dexterity with a brush led me to the fine arts-painting.
At that time I knew almost nothing about Eastern art or thought. I was totally naive about my own cultural heritage. I was living and reacting to parallel worlds–one, the rational, conscious world of the West; the other, the intuitive, unconscious world of the East. This duality caused me to explore the differences and sameness in art forms.
Existentialism was the first influence that persuaded me toward the abstract expressionist school of painting. The philosophical bases of existentialism–one’s responsibility for making one’s own nature as well as personal freedom, independent decision making, and the importance of commitment–were to me the attitude of the abstract way of painting.