About

 
Short Bio

Christine Wong Yap uses social practice, drawing, printmaking, and publishing to explore dimensions of psychological wellbeing, such as belonging, interdependence, and collaboration. She partners with organizations to conduct participatory research projects whose outcomes include site-specific, public artworks, zines, and books. She has participated in over a dozen residencies and studio programs. A longtime resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, she has lived and worked in Queens, NY since 2010.


Longer Bio

Christine Wong Yap holds a BFA and MFA from the California College of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited at the Queens Museum of Art (Queens, NY), Bronx Museum of Art (Bronx), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art (San Francisco), and Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (Manchester U.K.), as well as in Los Angeles; Portland, OR; Manila; and Poland.

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

She is currently a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council 2019-2020 Workspace artist-in-residence. In 2018–2019, she was the inaugural artist-in-residence at the Othering & Belonging Institute (formerly the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society) at U.C. Berkeley. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (Manchester U.K.), the Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito, CA), Woodstock Byrdcliffe (Woodstock, NY), Tides Institute and Museum of Art (Eastport, ME), Montalvo Arts Center (Saratoga, CA), Harvester Arts (Wichita, KS), c3:initiative (Portland, OR), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (Governor’s Island, NY), Kala Art Institute (Berkeley, CA), Center for Book Arts (NYC), Sanitary Tortilla Factory (Albuquerque, NM), and Little Paper Planes (San Francisco, CA).

Reviews of her work have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Art Practical. Her work has also appeared on Oprah.com, NewYorker.com, Artforum.com, NYMag.com, KQED Arts, The Guardian (UK), Oakland Tribune, the East Bay Express, and SFMOMA’s Open Space blog. She has contributed to books published by Montez Press, INCA Press, Workman Publishing, New Press, Routledge, and New York University Press.

Born in California, she was a longtime resident of Oakland, CA before relocating to Queens, NY in 2010.

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

Education

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

Selected Public Projects

Solo Shows and Projects

  • 2015
  • The Eve Of..., Portland ‘Pataphysical Society & PDX Contemporary, Portland, OR.
  • All the Steps in the Process: a research project on collaboration, Harvester Arts, Wichita, KS.
  • 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.

Selected Group Exhibitions

Collections

  • Alameda County Art Collection, CA.
  • The Center for Book Arts, NYC.

Residencies, Fellowships & Studio Programs

Grants, Awards & Honors

Professional Activities

Bibliography

Critical Writing

Selected Publications

I am a project-based artist who explores psychological wellbeing. I often work in printmaking, drawing, sculpture, installation, and social practice.

My participatory projects make space for participants and audiences to engage in self-reflection, interdependence, and social connection.

Some projects are organized around themes—such as belonging, collaboration, and interdependence. I conduct surveys and present findings via drawings, zines, hand-lettered signs, data visualizations, and flags.

In other projects, I create activities to stimulate or enact a salient emotional experience. For example, Ways and Means is a participatory print installation for visualizing one’s strengths and resources as tools in wearable tool belts. In make things (happen), I invite the public to interact with artist-made activity sheets to spur creative action. I use common materials and forms to lend accessibility and abundance to elusive sentiments and abstract concepts.

My work is informed by positive psychology—a research-based field studying human flourishing and subjective wellbeing. Guided by the principle of affirming the positive, my projects almost always aim to increase personal agency and emotional intelligence.

NatGeo on Art, Culture, and Belonging in S.F. Chinatown

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“This year, CCC partnered with artist Christine Wong Yap for the Art, Culture, and Belonging in Chinatown project, for which people were asked to submit their personal recollections of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Through intentional art and educational programming, CCC hopes visitors and residents view the neighborhood like a museum, “where it becomes an interactive site to deepen their understanding and sense of belonging through engaging with stories, people, and history,” Leung says, cautioning that without care and activism, Chinatowns will eventually disappear.”

—Rachel Ng, “Why does the U.S. have so many Chinatowns?” National Geographic, September 2020.

 

Galerie Magazine on Messages for the City Billboards in Times Square

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“For the campaign’s second part, launching May 15, more than ten established and emerging contemporary artists, including Jenny Holzer, Carrie Mae Weems, Mel Chin, Duke Riley, and Pedro Reyes, contributed images and animations to be shared during minute-long video rotations, with new releases over the next several weeks.
“In addition to the 24 massive Times Square screens donated by Morgan Stanley, American Eagle, Maefield Development, and Branded Cities’ NASDAQ and Thomson Reuters displays, the videos will be shown on 1,774 LinkNYC kiosks across the five boroughs, and 300-plus JCDecaux Screens in New York, Boston, and Chicago.”

—Stephanie Sporn, “Jenny Holzer, Carrie Mae Weems, and More Craft Digital Works of Gratitude Across NYC,” Galerie Magazine, May 15, 2020.

 

Sing Tao Daily on Hopes for Chinatown

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“I wanted to do something to support the community as shelter in place took hold. It’s become more urgent for the project to provide counter-narratives to xenophobic hate, to encourage the public to patronize small businesses in Chinatown, and to give participants opportunities to connect with and celebrate meaningful aspects of their identities and personal histories. Social distancing, isolation, and othering actually underscores my role as an artist: to offer space for participants to connect (even if virtually, or by memory or imagination right now) with the people, places, and cultural assets that help them feel a sense of belonging in SF Chinatown.” —Christine Wong Yap

—. "藝術家創作支持華埠 葉黃嘉雯領銜" 星島日報, 2020年06月07日.

 

Bloomberg Philanthropies Blog on Art, Culture, and Belonging

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“The Chinese Culture Center in the heart of San Francisco, California’s Chinatown, is working tirelessly to support artists during COVID-19 and share examples of creative work on Facebook and Instagram. Artist Christine Wong Yap recently did an Instagram takeover to encourage everyone to practice storytelling as part of the Art, Culture, and Belonging Project, which invites people to discuss how arts and culture contribute to their sense of belonging in Chinatown.”

—. “Buckle Up for a Virtual Culture Road Trip This Weekend.” Bloomberg Philanthropies Blog. May 1, 2020.

KQED Arts on Belonging (Bay Area)

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“Do you feel belonging in your local library, a neighborhood bar, a regular meeting in city hall? Or do you carry your sense of belonging with you from place to place?
“New York-based artist and Oakland expat Christine Wong Yap is making that often-intangible feeling visible—by identifying, commemorating and sharing others’ sites of belonging—based on a survey of nearly 100 participants in the nine-county Bay Area region.
“Belonging happens when people feel safe, seen and accepted, Wong Yap says. Her questionnaire, issued over a five-week period at the end of 2018, asked participants identify a place where they think to themselves either ‘This is my community,’ ‘These are my people,‘ or ‘I can be me here.’”

Hotchkiss, Sarah. “Christine Wong Yap Asks: Where Do You Feel a Sense of Belonging?” KQED Arts, February 24, 2019.

Artforum on The People’s Guide to the Queens International

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“Tucked into a library near the museum’s café is a glass-walled gallery housing the installation for The People’s Guide to the Queens International, 2018. This meta-collaborative project by Brian Droitcour and Christine Wong Yap departs from the possibly terrifying idea that everyone’s a critic—as well as Droitcour’s ongoing interest in vernacular criticism and Wong Yap’s background with participatory events.”

O’Neill-Butler, Lauren. “Lure of the Local.” Artforum. December 11, 2018.

New York Magazine on The People’s Guide to the Queens International

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“As you proceed through the galleries, be sure to pick up a copy of The People’s Guide to the Queens International placed throughout the Museum. The single-page forms were designed by artists Brian Droitcour and Christine Wong Yap to stimulate deeper encounters with the works on view. ‘Anyone,’ they propose in the accompanying wall text, ‘can be an art critic!’”

Embuscado, Rain. “How to Spend the Day Seeing Amazing Art All Over Queens.” New York Magazine. November 21, 2018.

New Yorker Magazine on a Just Seeds graphics archive

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“Over the weekend, an organization in Brooklyn called the Interference Archive gave away about five thousand stickers, three thousand printed posters, a thousand buttons, and almost two gallons of red and black paint that ended up silk-screened onto T-shirts, tote bags, and patches in the form of mottoes like ‘Don’t Mourn, Organize.’”

Moynihan, Colin. “A Seedbed of New Images to Protest Trump.” New Yorker. January 18, 2017.

Selected recent press. For full list, see the C.V. Bibliography