Born in California, Christine Wong Yap holds a BFA and MFA from the California College of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited extensively in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as in New York, Los Angeles, Manila, Osaka, London, Newcastle, and Manchester (U.K.). Recent exhibitions include Happiness Is... (Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga, CA), Irrational Exuberance (Asst. Colors) (Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, UK) and Art Moves billboard festival (Toruń, Poland). Reviews of her work have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Art Practical.

She has participated in residencies at Chinese Arts Centre (Manchester, U.K.), Tides Institute and Museum of Art (Eastport, ME), Woodstock Byrdcliffe (Woodstock, NY), and Montalvo Arts Center (Saratoga, CA), as well as the Affiliate Artist program at the Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito, CA).

Her work has been supported by the Queens Council on the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the Center for Cultural Innovation, and the Murphy Fellowship in the Fine Arts.

A longtime resident of Oakland, CA, she relocated to New York, NY in 2010. She is a member of Ortega y Gasset Projects artists collective.

  • Born in California
  • Lives and works in New York, NY


  • 2007
  • MFA. California College of the Arts (CCA), San Francisco, CA.
  • 1998
  • BFA with High Distinction. CCA, San Francisco, CA.

Solo Shows

  • 2014
  • The Eve Of..., Pop-up Gallery/Falchi Building, Long Island City, NY.
  • 2012
  • Irrational Exuberance (Asst. Colors), Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, UK.
  • 2010
  • Irrational Exuberance (Asst. Colors), Sight School, Oakland, CA.
  • 2008
  • Dark Into Light, Swarm Gallery, Oakland, CA.

Selected Group Exhibitions

Public Projects & Commissions

Public Collections

  • Alameda County Art Collection, CA.

Grants, Residencies, Awards & Honors

Professional Activities


Critical Writing

Selected Publications

  • 2015
  • Leong, Michael, ed. “Lines of Sight: Visual Art in Asian American Poetry.” The Margins. Asian American Writers Workshop. March 3. Art contribution.
  • 2014
  • Gazette. Ortega y Gasset Projects, Ridgewood, NY. January. Drawing.
  • 2013
  • Davenport, Philip. The Dark Would. Manchester, UK: Apple Pie Editions. Art contribution.
  • “Profile: Walden-Inspired Accounting.” Art Practical. Issue 4.11. March 12.
  • 2011
  • Guardiola, Pablo and Large, J. Brent, eds. SetToSignal.com. Essay: “Notes on Object-Viewer Relations.”
  • 2010
  • Cloutier, Julie, ed. City Reader. San Francisco: Reading Conventions, 2010. Art contribution.
  • Frock, Christian L. and Hanor, Stephanie. Here and Now. Oakland, CA: Mills College Art Museum / Invisible Venue. Catalog for commissioned public intervention series.
  • Tilton, Jennifer. Dangerous or Endangered: Race and the Politics of Youth in Urban America. New York: New York University Press, 2010. Cover art.
  • —, We have as much time as it takes. San Francisco: Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art. Exhibition catalog with interviews. [PDF]
  • 2009
  • Curreri, Amanda and Scollon, Erik, eds. Color&Color #0. New York / San Francisco, 2009. Image contributions.
  • —. Involved, Socially. San Francisco: Triple Base Gallery/Michelle Blade, 2009. Publication featuring contributions by members of 5-person exhibition, with essays by Matthew Rana.
  • Wazwaz, Maysoun, et. al.. Bellwether. San Francisco: Southern Exposure. Catalog for inaugural exhibition featuring 10 newly commissioned works, with "mirrorsblack" essay, 44-47.
  • 2008
  • —. Activist Imagination. San Francisco: Kearny Street Workshop, 2008. Exhibition catalog with essays by Kevin B. Chen and Samantha Chanse.
  • Sudbury, Julia, ed. Global Lockdown: Race, Gender and the Prison-Industrial Complex. New York: Routledge, 2005. Cover art (in collaboration with Lucha).
  • Wong Yap, Christine. Hyphen Magazine. Issue 7, Fall. Reproduction of a painting.
  • Wong, Christine. “Come on Down [Expect Stereotypes as South Asians Make U.S. Film, TV Debuts].” Oakland Tribune & KALW 91.7, Feb. 2. Public Radio Exchange piece profile.
  • Wong, Christine. “An ABC Comes Home: An Ancestral Pilgrimage to Guangdong, China.” Pacific News Service, Nov. 19. San Francisco Chronicle, 13 January.
  • Wong, Christine. “Forget Cinderella [Bride Laments Mother’s Gown].” Pacific News Service and KALW 91.7, April 3. Public Radio Exchange piece profile.

I make sculptures, installations, participatory projects, and drawings to investigate optimism, happiness, and positive psychology, a research-based field studying human flourishing. I use everyday materials—ribbons, vinyl, mirrors, and gel pens—to lend accessibility and abundance to elusive sentiments. My projects are props and situations that spark and sustain attention to emotional experiences.

For example, I have drawn diagrams to illustrate psychologists’ theories of subjective wellbeing; sewn flags to elicit exuberance; assembled ribbons to spell messages encouraging positive mental habits; and crafted dollar-store-like installations to embrace decoration and pleasure. Increasingly, I create projects that invite interaction—such as organizing and offering artist-created activity sheets to the public—to cultivate agency, mutualism, and generosity.

See also C.V. Bibliography

“Glen Helfand describes the work of Christine Wong Yap, his pick for one of the chains: ‘Her artwork is about all of us, as she creates barometers of public mood, and usually aims to spread some good vibes with astute visual choices....’ ...Yap’s piece is, aptly, a distorted mirror, a device that has become one of her signatures. ...[She] make[s] use of recycled and reflected images and memories to create a new shared experience.” Jessica Brier, Art Practical. Issue 11, March 25, 2010

“Presented as a make-believe store with shelves and pegboards, and selling its goods at “pleasurable prices,” Irrational Exuberance (Asst Colors) is New York-based artist Christine Wong Yap’s defiant attempt to come on optimistic at all costs.” Clark, Robert, The Guardian. October 25, 2012

“In a marvelous little etching by Christine Wong Yap, densely inscribed Gothic print ... reads, at first glance, as the concluding section of an ecclesiastical text, but the crowded letters actually spell out a recitation far more secular and mundane: a shopping list for milk, yogurt, turkey and cheese. Yap, who lives in Oakland, stages another amusing temporal and stylistic dislocation in a hand-inked scroll of graph paper that ends in a curl on the floor....” Leah Ollman, Los Angeles Times. October 9, 2009