Since the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts opened its doors to the public in 1993, the progressive museum has remained committed to the redefinition of what an arts organization can be. Bay Area Now 9, a triennial exhibition currently on display in the museum, is perfectly in line with the institution’s aims.
Through the perspectives and creations of 30 Bay Area artists across a wide manner of media, this program proposes a strong notion of hope for a more diverse and cooperative future.
The themes of the exhibition are vast and palpable. According to BAN 9 Curators Fiona Ball and Martin Strickland, most of these throughlines stem from an “intuitive desire to find one another” and include questioning how we relate to the physical world around us, dismantling time and the course of history to better understand our personal and collective histories, and figuring out how we can regenerate by looking to the land. Yet more themes exist. Visitors are prompted to find their own rhizomes and patterns present in the work.
I visited YBCA one Friday afternoon not too long ago. A soothing smell of underwater life greeted me as I cruised into the first floor gallery. I soon found the origin of the aquatic aura: Connie Zheng’s Guest Passage (2023). River rocks and tree detritus decorate a table set with Chinese porcelain dinnerware amid a video projection. This installation artfully explores the history of Asian American agricultural workers, the three major Northern California rivers that feed the region’s agricultural activity, and the notion of being a guest.
The rest of the museum is brimming with opportunities to explore artists’ creative takes and possibilities.
Come see this potent collection of work which will be presented through May 5, 2024.
YBCA is located at 701 Mission St. in San Francisco. It is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 11:00 AM- 5:00 PM. Galleries are free on Wednesdays and second Sundays! Tickets can be procured at the museum’s front desk, or by calling 415.978.2787. Check out this link for more information.