Visit 'We, Asian Sex Workers Website' for further information


THE VENUE is located at 8th and Folsom and is an alternative white wall gallery space with concrete floors and high ceilings.

Call for info: 415-99-ASIA-9 (415-992-7429)



Experience and BUY original ART!
open til midnight!

Saturday 7/14

8pm: “Asian Prostitute Sensitivity Training”

Sunday 7/15

7pm: Opening Reception with performances by Surgeon Scofflaw and Mariko Passion

Wednesday 7/18

7pm: Migrant Sex Work Panel
8pm: Urban Justice Center presents “Taking the Pledge” USAID money, anti-prostitution pledges and migrant sex work presentation/discussion
9pm Melissa Gira: Report Back from Cambodia

Friday 7/20

7pm: Asian Sex Worker Film Fest


About The Exhibit

"We, Asian Sex Workers" is a group show featuring the visual and performance art of contemporary artists from around the world. "We, Asian Sex Workers" portrays our own personal story of being an Asian sex worker from the U.S or abroad. We hope this show will help to educate San Francisco and beyond about some of the misconceptions too often presented about our lives. The focus of the Show is to highlight and honor the strength, survival, beauty and determination necessary to be an Asian Sex Worker within and against the world of laws like the Trafficking Victim Protection Act and US Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath, and the criminalization of prostitution in cities all over the US. Fed up with the current laws that criminalize our work and our bodies, restrict our movement and keep us from rising up, we hope to explore the boundaries between criminal acts, resistance, and art. There will be an "oriental massage parlor" style red neon window signage displaying the words "BUY ART" towards Folsom Street during night gallery hours. The window is located in an industrial South of Market Street area in San Francisco which has steady vehicle traffic.

Featuring work by Tracy Quan, Reagan Louie, Mariko Passion, Annie Chen, Surgeon Scofflaw. The Girls of Banteay Srei (Oakland, CA) and Ivy from Young Women's Empowerment Project


Artists of "We, Asian Sex Workers," artifacts and performances by

Mariko Passion
Performance artist, singer, writer, teacher, blogger, professional bisexual and whore revolutionary. A member of SWOP in Los Angeles, founder of SWOP at UCLA and touring activist and educator has spoken on sex work issues, sexual violence and migrant sex worker issues at UCLA, USC, and UC Riverside. Every purchase of Mariko Passion's artwork from this show ($5-$1200) comes with a unique, private, conceptual art performance in an adjacent space within the gallery.

Reagan Louie
Reagan Louie has exhibited his work throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Museum exhibitions include; the Museum of Modern Art, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Hong Kong Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. His photographs are represented in numerous museum collections including; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Modern Art. The New York Times named Louie's book, "Toward a Truer Life", the photography book of the year. Louie is the recipient of numerous awards including a Guggenheim and a Fulbright fellowship. He is currently at work on a new project entitled, "Asia at the Edge".Tracy Quan
TRACY QUAN is the author of "Diary of a Married Call Girl." Her first novel, "Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl," has been optioned by SONY Pictures. Her books are being published in 14 languages, including Japanese, Turkish and Malayalam.
Praised by Reason magazine as "the only chick lit writer to discuss indentured labor, sex worker rights and the proper purse in which to carry a dildo," Tracy has written for, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, South China Morning Post and many other publications. As a 21st century agony aunt, she has tackled vibrator addiction, miscegenation and the challenges of first-time intercourse. She is frequently invited to discuss issues concerning the sex industry. Venues include SFMOMA, Open Society Institute, and Eyebeam (New York.)
A member of PONY (Prostitutes of New York) and the NSWP (Network of Sex Work Projects), she lives in Manhattan, where she is currently writing her next novel, "Diary of a Transatlantic Call Girl." Website:

Annie Chen
Annie began working with Sex Workers Outreach Project in 2003, and helped in the 2004 city ballot initiative to decriminalize prostitution in Berkeley, CA. Her role in the Measure Q campaign was of gathering petition signatures; attending meetings and debates, and performing lap dances at key fundraising events to keep the campaign afloat, hence earning her the title "political sex worker." Annie first became interested in the sex workers rights while doing social service outreach work in jails and Asian massage parlors. She is inspired by strong, uncompromising women in the movement like Dawn Passar, Robyn Few, and Carol Leigh who have committed their lives to advancing freedom for all women.
Annie grew up in San Francisco and has been advocating for positive sexuality, drug education, and progressive youth issues since 1996 when she served on the San Francisco Youth Commission. She currently serves on the board of Health Initiatives for Youth (HIFY), whose organizational mission is to serve underserved youth by meeting their most pressing individual and community health needs, offering solutions through youth-driven education and media; provider resource trainings; and advocacy.

Exhibit Description
Recent reports of toxic chemicals leeching from plastic and other synthetic sex toys really put a downer on accessorized sex play. With enough risks and hazards in the sex work industry (the most brutal one being criminalization), the last thing a worker should have to worry about is his or her sex toys.
This project emerges from the artist's pursuit of non-toxic pleasure and her long time obsession with wood. The properties of natural hardwood make it an excellent medium for sex toys. It is warm to the touch; bacteria resistant; and has aesthetically sensual grains. Each piece in the exhibit has been sourced from sustainable and/or salvaged wood, and has been cured, hand fashioned, sanded, and finished with food-grade oil finish.
"Wood grains are mesmerizing and meditative. What is compelling about using these hardwood toys for pleasure is that each piece was once a live plant, and through love and craft I've fashioned each piece for new life with a worthy function." --Annie Chen

Every purchase of Annie Chen's pieces from this show comes with a unique, private, conceptual art performance in an adjacent space within the gallery.

Surgeon Scofflaw
Surgeon Scofflaw is a radical queer hapa and recently left her lifelong home of Chicago for all points desert. She has worked in the sex industry in just about every capacity since 1999. She has also done film, photo, and performance work, and has begun to produce porn. She is a cellist, song writer, fire dancer, flesh hooker, spoken word artist and used to play in the long running Chicago art-punk ensemble Apartment Burlesque Orchestra. She has taught workshops and spoken nationally on subjects including race, sex work, direct action organizing, BDSM, and all their myriad intersections. She digs church, motorcycles, organic foods, sustainable consciousness, psychogeography, and her family. She is currently tearing it up in Arizona raising up her young dangerbaby, making art work and work into art.
Every purchase of SURGEON SCOFFLAW's pieces from this show comes with a unique, private, conceptual art performance in an adjacent space within the gallery.

The Girls of Banteay Srei (Oakland, CA)
named after a famous citadel of women, a popular existing ancient temple in Cambodia Banteay Srei is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping young Southeast Asian women (ages 12-19) empower themselves. A project based at the East Bay Asian Youth Center.

Ivy from Young Women's Empowerment Project (YWEP): Chicago, IL
artist, mother, creator, poet, activist, has been an active participant and youth staff representing the YOUNG WOMENS EMPOWERMENT PROJECT- we are all about harm reduction, peer education and social justice for girls and young women ages 12-23 who have been impacted by the sex trade and street economies.
We understand that the sex trade & street economy is a complicated system of oppression, girls can have many different ways of being involved whether it be trafficking, pimped, or for survival. We recognize that Girls are leaders and are valued for their work and leadership in our project! Call us for more info.
(773) 728-0127 and visit our new website :

Curator's Statement:
In October of 2006 Meredith May wrote a 4 part series entitled "Diary of a Sex Slave" which ran in the San Francisco Chronicle. Shortly after the Korean Community responded with the outrage that the story misrepresented Koreans but with no outrage that it misrepresented sex workers, clients, and the portrayal of everyone's sexuality. Pervasive media portrayals about the dark underworld of Asian sex slavery is not new.

In fact, it dates back to the 1800s in San Francisco. Both eras represent an utter silencing of the voices of the workers themselves whether they arrived at the work by force, by choice or probably some complex combination of the two.
Mayor Gavin Newsom responded and said he has "growing intensity" to curb the illegal sex trade, driven in part by what he once saw while touring a massage parlor that offered sex: an elderly man on top of a young girl. (Asian women and Sex Workers are constantly infantalized...) Some politicians pushed a moratorium on all massage parlors thinking that would be the solution. More talk of women and girls being raped. More talk of the idea that prostitution is something that could and should be abolished like homosexuality.

Global approaches to the sex trafficking problem has included the U. S Agency for International Development (USAID) fund requiring grantees to take a pledge an Anti-Prostitution Pledge which they claim will help fight against HIV/AIDS. This past April, Randall Tobias, the mouthpiece for this pledge and other morally driven approaches to sex from the White House was recently exposed as a client of a notorious D.C madam causing his early retirement from his position. It is clear that abolishing prostitution does not apply to the policy makers but only to the sex slaves, trafficked victims, their families who will continue to go without resources and support no matter how they ended up in sex work.

Friday July 20th 7PM

Ar+Space 1286 Folsom Street (near 9th)

Call 415-99-ASIA-9 (415-992-7429)

Asian Sex Worker Film Screening (Film List In-Progress-To Be Confirmed)

We, Asian Sex Workers is screening videos by sex workers from San Francisco and from around the globe. We are proud to have the opportunity to present the premiere screening of “Memory of Miss Guan,” the story of the leader of the sex worker movement, Guan Xiou Qin (of COSWAS in Taiwan) who committed suicide recently as a culmination to her political struggles. These videos range widely from this very political memoir to the experimental work “Whore’s Diary: Pornography made by me & my client by BuBu de la Madeleine. Miss Erochica's Burlesque Diary explores a background of images through which burlesque artist, Erochica Bamboo, constructs her persona. This collection provides a unique view of Asian women in the sex industry, usually portrayed as victims and slaves, here portrayed as strong, often political, proud and sexy individuals with a range of goals and struggles.

Memory of Miss Guan, A Celebrated Sex Worker- WeiFen Lin of COSWAS, Taipei (34 min. 2006 Taiwan)
US Premiere! “We thought, that Miss Guan will witness together with us, the decriminalization of sex work(ers) in Taiwan. However, now what we will do, is to continue making efforts in completing Miss Guan’s last will. Miss Guan died for the large force of paying endless debts, which is due to the oppression exacerbated by the wrong policy. The abandonment of legal sex work deprived her right to earn a living. Here we wish to speak more with visual images.”

Old Chicks: Bailan and her girls-Yann Shan Tsai (40 min. 2006 Taiwan)
When a sex worker falls into a coma... In the past, her work had consoled many lonely souls and their sexual needs. Her labor had supported her original family, and a group of stray cats in the alley. After the licensed prostitutes were banned, and before Bailan went into a coma, what had happened to her? And after the illness, returning to her hillside home in Taitung, how does she feel about all the happenings? Thanks to the company of Collective Of Sex Workers And Supporters (COSWAS) and its volunteers, the story of Bailan is not just a stamp-sized news story and does not vanish in oblivion. Their efforts have let the society witness the struggles and survivals of these ladies, after licensed prostitution becomes history. Cinematography by Yann Shan Tsai, Hsu Yi-ying & Cheng Hsiao-ta.

Whore's Diary: Pornography made by me & my client - BuBu de la Madeleine (21 min. 2000 Japan)
"M is my client," explains Bubu in this poetic veritae short documenting her relationship with a client in Japan. "Today, I decided to make a pornographic video with him. If you just wait doing nothing, still winter will turn to spring. But I can't just sit and wait. I start to walk forward."

Negotiating Sex Workers' Rights: Calcutta- C.J. Roessler (12 min. 2003 USA)
A video montage based on footage acquired by Roessler at the Calcutta Sex Worker's Conference in November 1997. The text of this video is based on the Sex Worker's Manifesto, a document composed by the DMSC (Durbar Mahila Samanya Committee or the Durbar Women's Collaborative Committee). DMSC demands decriminalization of adult sex work and the right to form a trade union.

Miss Erochica's Burlesque Diary-Erochia Bamboo (7 min. 2003 Japan)
This photojournal captures Miss Erochica's yearning for the nostalgic, romantic world of burlesque. This video was recently screened in Taiwan during the exhibition in honor of the licensed prostitutes.

Sex TV-The Biters 2001 (25 min. 2001 Japan)
A take-off on home shopping, cooking shows and contemporary sexual style with performance artists/sex worker rights activists in Japan.

Broken- Kristen Lum (7 min. 1999)

Broken portrays the relationship between sexual ambiguities and sex violations resulting from working conditions in San Francisco Strip clubs.