The Belonging Project

self-portrait, waving

Hi! I’m Christine. I’m an artist and I created the Belonging Project.

group of people with no faces

Through workshops and open calls, I invited anyone with a meaningful connection to the S.F. Bay Area...

hand writing on paper, with a thought bubble of two people embracing share their story of belonging.

person printing on a letterpress
hand doingn calligraphy on certificates
a framed certificate hanging on a wall abovea dish of muffins

Maybe there is a place in the Bay Area where they feel (or have felt) a sense of belonging. I letterpress-printed*, hand lettered, and framed certificates to commemorate 25 places of belonging.

body with heart shining light
hand drawing a design
two hands screenprinting
a framed certificate hanging on a wall above a dish of muffins

Or, maybe they carry a sense of belonging with them. I designed and screenprint six bandanas inspired by select responses.

a book with 'belonging' on the cover
book with map of lake merritt
book with text and a photo of a certificate and muffin
booklet with bandana and text

I collected and published these stories and images in 100 Stories of Belonging in the S.F. Bay Area, a 116-page book which launched at the Othering and Belonging Conference in Oakland.

The goal of The Belonging Project is to share the pivotal places, activities, communities, and experiences that shape Bay Area residents’ connectedness to a neighborhood and region. It’s a project led by artist Christine Wong Yap, artist in residence at the Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley.

Who We Are

Christine Wong Yap is the inaugural artist in residence at the Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley. She has explored belonging in smaller past projects. She creates projects that involve participation and research to better understand belonging, interdependence, connection, and optimism. She holds a BFA and MFA from the California College of Arts in Oakland and San Francisco. She has lived in the North Bay, Peninsula, and East Bay before relocating to Queens in 2010.

The Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley is a hub of engaged scholars, researchers, strategic communicators, policymakers, and community partners working to advance belonging for all members of society.


To learn more about the project, my background, my motivations, and what I learned in partnering with the Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley, see “In Discussion with Christine Wong Yap” in the Haas Institute’s News Magazine (Spring 2019, page 26) (PDF, 10.2 MB).

Sarah Hotchkiss summed up the project-in-progress with “Christine Wong Yap Asks: Where Do You Feel a Sense of Belonging?” on KQED Arts (February 24, 2019).

Maya Mirsky shared an interfaith story in “It’s official: This Berkeley rabbi’s home is a ‘place of belonging’” on J. Weekly (March 14, 2019).


The Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley, Evan Bissell, Chinese Culture Center, NIAD, Kala Art Institute, The Beat Within, UC Berkeley Public Service Center, Soccer Without Borders, St. Mary’s Center, Eric Cheng, Lee Oscar Gomez, Felicia Kuan, Derrick Lee, Kathy Aoki, Kevin B. Chen, Alicia Caballero-Christenson, Binh Danh, Mel Day, Dana Hemenway, Elizabeth Travelslight, CCA Exhibitions, Live Oak School, Sanitary Tortilla Factory, Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, contributors, and hosts at places of belonging.