San Francisco photographer captures beauty amid struggle in Richmond


A new art exhibit in San Francisco features compelling photography captured in Richmond.

Status Update, which is set for an opening reception at 6 p.m. Friday at SOMArts at 934 Brannan St., includes photographs and videos that capture changes in the Bay Area brought upon by the booming tech industry, along with the inequality that persists in the region.

Among the art featured are images from a photobook by Paccarik Orue, which was released early this year. The photo series, entitled “There Is Nothing Beautiful Around Here,” proves what typically only local residents understand: That there is a whole lot of beauty and resolve to be found amid Richmond’s struggles.

The above image is from the series. We encourage readers to check out more of Orue’s artwork in Richmond on his website here.

Richmond has a reputation “for being one of the roughest parts of the Bay Area,” Orue notes on his website. “However, Richmond is also a place where turkeys walk past on the sidewalks, dogs guard their owner’s properties, people ride horses in the park, and fire hydrants cool the hot afternoons. During one of my visits, a middle-aged African American woman asked me why I was taking pictures in her neighborhood. I answered that it was beautiful. She responded, ‘there is nothing beautiful around here.’ Beauty and sorrow live side by side in Richmond.”