2/18: Manifest Destiny! Reception @ SoEx Off-Site

Since I did not have a reblog Monday this past week, I’m doing a Saturday morning reblog! He is a post regarding Southern Exposure’s public art grant program. You will definitely want to check it out if you have the time. Supporting the arts is good for the soul. 🙂


Southern Exposure’s public art grant program celebrates its first commission tonight! I was happy to supply a bit of 19th-century-inspired typography for the graphic design of the mailer (read the essay)….

Manifest Destiny! Reception
February 18, 20124:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Hotel des Arts, 447 Bush St, San Francisco, CA

Jenny Chapman and Mark Reigelman’s Manifest Destiny! is a temporary rustic cabin occupying one of the last remaining unclaimed spaces of downtown San Francisco – above and between other properties. Using a 19th-century architectural style and vintage building materials, the structure is both homage to the romantic spirit of the Western Myth and a commentary on the arrogance of Westward expansion. The installation will remain in place and be slowly transformed by the elements through October 2012.

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Culture Criticism Observations Visual Arts

A few photos from Intersection for the Arts opening, In Other Words | More to Follow

Artist: Christine Wong Yap

This past Wednesday, I went to the opening, In Other Words, at the Intersection for the Arts and snapped a few photos on my phone. I really need to start lugging around my fancy camera. Although mobile devices may come in handy, art (all forms) deserve the prestige that tons of pixels can actually deliver.

One of my art heroes, Christine Wong Yap, was a featured artist in the show. She is one of the artist-writers that gave me the resources and guidance towards art writing. I appreciate her and constantly feel inspired by her work, work ethic, and writing. Her art looks at human behavior related to optimism and pessimism. One of my writing projects includes a lengthier write-up about the show, which is forthcoming. For now, please click here to view more of her work.

Artist: Christine Wong Yap

Here’s a short bio for Christine Wong Yap. Text Source: Artist Website ~ Interested in a full bio, click here

Christine Wong Yap is an interdisciplinary artist working in installations, sculptures, multiples, and works on paper to explore optimism and pessimism. Her work examines the paradox that mundane materials or situations can give rise to irrational expectations, emotions, and experiences. Major touchstones are language, light and dark, and psychology. 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.). Born in California, Yap holds a BFA and MFA from the California College of the Arts. A longtime resident of Oakland, CA, she relocated to New York, NY in 2010.

Artist: Susan O’Malley

Susan O’Malley makes you stop and look (and read) and wonder. There’s an interesting dialogue that occurs when you’re confronted with a sign. Typically, signage is up high on some awning or words and images on a billboard but you look. It’s part of our environment. You’re probably thinking, “Why is a sandwich board in a gallery considered art?” Well, the short answer is that it leads to an interaction. From this piece, I learned sandwich boards are prohibited outside of the premises, which O’Malley found interesting considering all the wonderful things happening inside the San Francisco Chronicle building (I’m referring to the placard that explains a bit more about the works).

Artist: Susan O'malley

Here’s a bio for Susan O’Malley. Text Source: Artist Website ~ Please visit her site here

I am drawn to simple and recognizable tools of engagement—offering a Pep Talk, installing a roomful of inspirational posters, distributing flyers in a neighborhood’s mailbox, conducting a doodle competition at a high school— in order to offer entry into an understood, and sometimes humorous, interaction of everyday life. Ultimately, I am looking for a moment between you and me, a diversion from our lives so that maybe we can understand each other better.

I received an MFA from California College of the Arts’ Social Practice Area. My work has exhibited in Bay Area galleries, including Southern Exposure, Mission 17, Ping Pong Gallery and CCA’s PlaySpace.

More to follow…


One of my favorite artist-writer, Christine Wong Yap. She shares “trinkets from the bitstream” with the rest of us! Totally worth your time. Please check out her post and blog! In addition, consider this the first installment of re-blog Mondays (a day to share some amazing thoughts and internet goodies from some of my favorite artists and writers out there)! Enjoy!!


O, Internet! Some glimmers of humor and poetry:


No cover

In search of a book, I found this little gif. It’s a cover design that’s meant to stand in for a missing file, but it’s handsome, balanced, mysterious and beautiful on its own. Book-face with a swash-nose. I’d read it.


I’m slowly working my way through psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s books. This one, co-authored with Eugene Halton, is on how objects become associated with sentiment. It sounds very enriching for me as an artist. I love this graphic cover too: plates and photos on display, with the title in sentence casing in a gothic typeface.


Aziz Ansari’s Treat yo’ self! clip from Parks and Rec. Ridiculous, self-indulgent, yet quite possibly a brilliant idea. What if everyone had one big Treat Yo’ Self Day every year? Rewards following accomplishments are nice, but too much performance-orientation can be unsustainable…

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Interactive / Participatory Art Observations

With Gratitude

Christine Wong Yap, Give Thanks (2011)

I am thankful for…

  • My mother’s sassiness, understanding, forgiving nature, generous heart, and keen awareness of exactly when I’m not telling the truth
  • My father’s spirit, twisted sense of humor, warrior soul (Rest in Peace, wherever you are)
  • My family and friends
  • All the artists, musicians, philosophers, scientists, and everyone in the world for inspiring me

To help celebrate the weekend of giving thanks, take a look at Christine Wong Yap’s latest work, Give Thanks (2011), showing in the UK. I’m incredibly thankful for her. She is one of the reasons why I write. I’m definitely grateful for her guidance and being an incredible art hero!!

Art Art and Technology Social Networking

Release Ai Weiwei: An Overseas Chinese Perspective by Christine Wong Yap

Artist and writer, Christine Wong Yap, has written a great op-ed piece for New America Media. Extremely important, telling of the cultural and political climate in China, and beautifully written. Please read and share!

Art Art Practice

Reflections on Christine Wong Yap

“Most of us deep down believe that a person who is creative will prevail regardless of the environment,” Csikszentmihalyi wrote. “But the reality appears to be different…. No matter how gifted a person is, he or she has no chance to achieve anything creative unless the right conditions are provided by the field.” Csikszentmihalyi identifies “seven major elements in the social milieu that help make creative contributions possible: training, expectations, resources, recognition, hope, opportunity, and reward. Some of these are direct responsibilities of the field, others depend on the broader social system.”

In the latest issue of Art Practical, Christine Wong Yap, artist and regular contributor to the online art magazine wrote a feature titled Should I Stay or Should I go? I know, I know. If you’re into The Clash (yes, I am), you probably have the song stuck in your head right about now but how aptly related to the topic at hand. Her piece addresses the physical moves Bay Area artists (San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley) have made to advance their art practices and career (to places such as New York and Prague). She provides the reader a greater understanding when it comes to the transient nature of the artist. Trust me, the majority of artists love travel and experiencing different places but it’s safe to assume that there’s a desire for stability in such a fast paced, evolving, and globalized economy. However, as clearly stated by the artists interviewed for Ms. Wong Yap’s piece, they must move where the opportunities are present.

Being a San Francisco native, I was particularly interested in reading about artists who have such a profound connection and foundation in the Bay Area. Their thoughts on making it in the art world as well as their particular reasons to move away from a place they call home forces me to explore my own aspirations. As much as I don’t want to label myself, I am an outsider when it comes to the art world. An independent scholar. I’m fervently dedicated to personal studies in Art and it goes without saying, being in San Francisco, the community is quite nurturing for the endeavors I hope to take in the next year or two (i.e., graduate studies) but I can’t help but think some opportunity in the future is somewhere else, which scares me a bit. Overall, the feature certainly has me thinking much more optimistically but realisitically about the Bay Area Art scene.

I know, wherever I find myself in the future, I would take San Francisco with me. It would be pretty impossible to leave it behind.

If you enjoy this topic, you may also be interested in Michael Zheng’s work, The Profession Project.

Oh, and, well, I couldn’t resist!