Life Lessons

In the summer of 2021, I led art workshops to explore mental well-being through art as a Kala Art Institute Print Public municipal artist-in-residence with the City of Berkeley’s Mental Wellness and Recovery program. The workshops offered opportunities for learning, enjoyment, connection, and self-reflection. Several activities employed inexpensive craft foam in the creation of relief prints. I challenged myself to use the same material to create prints on the Vandercook letterpress. Life Lessons is the result.

I have always viewed printmaking as a medium of accidents, experiments, and improvised solutions. This spirit of innovation and “do whatever works” echoes the adaptability required to be resilient in times of uncertainty and rapid change.

The Let Yourself Be Supported triptych is inspired by my experiences of stepping outside of my comfort zone of self-reliance and tapping into support networks during the pandemic. The Break Old Patterns triptych was inspired by participant Gwen Lark’s response to a self-reflective, reframing writing exercise.


Currently on view through March 26, 2022
Print Public
Kala Art Institute, 2990 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA
Gallery hours: Wed–Fri, 12–5 PM, Saturdays by appointment.

Prints Available

In an experiment of valuation and exchange, the prints are available via two methods:

Limited edition. Collectors may purchase signed and numbered prints for $100 (11 x 8.5 inches) or $200 (12 x 18 inches). Prices for framed art and discounts for triptychs are available upon request. Contact Claire McPherson at Kala Art Institute for inquiries, and see Artsy for more photos.

Fundraiser. I’ll donate my half of sales from any of the Life Lessons prints through 3/26 up to $500 to Black Lives Matter in solidarity and support of the calls for justice for Amir Locke and Isaiah Williams. Learn more at @justiceforgeorgenyc and @breatheofficialpage.

Exchange. Visit the gallery to submit writing in exchange for a free print. Limit one print per household.

Credit: Christine Wong Yap, Life Lessons, 2021-2022, letterpress-printed relief prints, 12x18 / 18x12 / 11x8.5 inches, editions of 20–25 with exchange prints.

Printed by the artist at Kala Art Institute. Supported by Kala Art Institute’s Print Public Municipal Artist-in-Residence program. Thanks to Jamie Works-Wright and Crystal Lachman at the City of Berkeley. Thanks to Ellen, Mayumi, Meg, Nick and Gisela at Kala. Thanks to Cole Chang, Kennedy Morgan, and Josh for art and installation assistance. Thanks to all the workshop participants: Edith Reisman, Gwen Lark, Jamie Works-Wright, Norine Shima, and anonymous artists.