I explore optimism and pessimism, with a focus on happiness, positive psychology, and decorative impulses. I am most interested in the paradox between mundane materials or situations and the irrational expectations, emotions, and experiences than they inspire—such as enlightenment, skepticism, artifice, taste, exuberance or pleasure.
I create drawings and diagrams to deepen my understanding and share my research in experiment-based psychology. This has taken the form of the Cheap and Cheerful and Positive Signs series (to be published first on the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Open Space blog this Spring).
Pounds of Happiness (Conveyor Belt) is a motorized sculpture that displays a looped drawing of discount store goods whose functions are purely decorative or affective. The goods include the package of glitter pens with which the images are drawn. The title refers to the ‘pound shops’ I visited during my residency in Manchester, UK.
My installations and sculptures explore the paradox between mundane materials and irrational expectations. They can function as props for experiences, mediate relationships between artists and viewers, and present opportunities for enacting trust or skepticism. Many of my works can be considered barometers of optimism or pessimism. Hence, I use straightforward techniques, references to visual culture, and common materials like discount store goods, such as glitter pens in my drawings.
Influenced by conceptual strategies, phenomenology, and psychology, my output is experimental and idiosyncratic, yet shares economical means and candid appearances.
Artist Bio / CV
Christine Wong Yap is an interdisciplinary artist whose 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 Irrational Exuberance (Asst. Colors) (solo project, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, UK), Art Moves Festival of Billboard Art (Torun, Poland) and Happiness Is... (three-person show, Montalvo Arts Center Project Space Gallery, Saratoga, CA). Reviews of her work have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Art Practical and S.F. Camerawork.
A recipient of the Center for Cultural Innovation's Investing in Artists grant and Murphy Fellowship in the Fine Arts, she has participated in the Breathe residency at Chinese Arts Centre (Manchester, U.K.), the FRED Festival (U.K.), the Galleon Trade exchange project (Manila), and the Affiliate Artist program at the Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito, CA). In 2008, she was a collaborator in the Activist Imagination project, which was supported by the Creative Work Fund and the San Francisco Foundation.
Born in California, Yap holds a BFA and MFA from the California College of the Arts (CCA). A longtime resident of Oakland, CA, she relocated to New York, NY om 2010.