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Bernice Bing

American, 1936-1998


Curating Works


Bernice Lee Bing nicknamed “Bingo” was born in Chinatown, San Francisco, California in 1936. Bing's father was an immigrant from Southern China, while her mother was born in America. As a child, Bing was raised in an array of foster homes with her sister. Bing was involved in the arts throughout high school, winning several local and regional art contests. In 1955, Bing received a National Scholastic Award to the California College of Arts and Crafts, initially as an advertising major, then later as a painting one. She attended school with fellow abstract expressionist painter George Miyasaki and sculptor Manuel Neri. Bing was instructed by Nathan Oliveira, Richard Diebenkorn, and Saburo Hasegawa. Bing transferred to the California School of Fine Arts in 1958. Bing was a Chinese-American lesbian artist involved in the Bay Area art scene which had become lively by the late 1950s and early 1960s. Bing was close to many of the Bay Area artists and her wider circle of friends included Joan Brown, Wally Hedrick, Jay DeFeo, Bruce Conner, and Fred Martin. Her works are held in the collections of the Asian Art Museum, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, Crocker Art Museum, and Whitechapel Gallery.