<- back

Auspicious Clouds: Benches on Broadway

Public Art Featured in San Francisco Chinatown's Major Street Improvement


San Francisco, CA

Commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission & the Department of Public Works, artist Michael Arcega created “Auspicious Clouds,” a piece consisting of seven different cloud-shaped benches of bright colors placed on Chinatown sidewalks on Broadway between Columbus and the Broadway Tunnel. The artwork is part of the Broadway Chinatown Streetscape Improvement Project, designed to provide a safer and more pleasant walking experience, with new paving and curb bulb-outs, bike sharrows, streetlights, street trees, and street furnishings inspired by the unique history of the neighborhood. These painted-steel functional sculptures draw inspiration from cloud motifs found in traditional Chinese art and architecture in San Francisco. The cyclical nature of clouds, water and rain yields vitality and prosperity and evokes renewal and reinvigoration. Clouds also exist in the space between earth and the heavens, connecting people to realms beyond our own. This project is both a beautiful, culturally-aligned, and utilitarian addition to the neighborhood.

Michael Arcega holding a miniature model of one of the seven “Auspicious Clouds” benches.