Christine Wong Yap

A collaborative, text-led practice that unpacks and amplifies sites of belonging.

Christine Wong Yap leaning on a cabinet in her studio with her arms crossed over
artist flicking through the pages of a notebook that sits on a table before her with preliminary sketches of text for her project
a table with strips of various colours on, next to a piece of paper where various marks have been made with blue paint
5 images

Christine Wong Yap was born in 1977 in California's San Francisco Bay, where she has recently relocated after a decade spent living and working in Queens, New York.


Her work predominantly takes the form of public projects and community collaborations in locations such as New York and Houston, US; Cumbria, UK; Toruń, Poland and Puerto Rico. In 2021 she was selected as the first ever Times Square Public Artist-in-Residence.

Did you know?

In 2020, Yap contributed a work to artist-run collective For Freedoms' trailblazing Awakening campaign, which took the form of a roadside billboard asking passers by - "How do you keep your heart open?"

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Practice overview

Yap weaves visual art with social practice, approaching her work as a tool to foster community and explore themes of mental wellbeing and belonging. Her site-specific works - often facilitated through community workshops and exhibited in ‘non-art’ public spaces - combine text with comics, diagrammatic drawing and textile elements. In zines and publications, she collects stories from across the globe to create a symbolic document for collective memory. Through these poetic records of human experience, realised in a multitude of artistic forms, she demonstrates the ways in which communal creativity can contribute to both individual and societal resilience.

Yap creates work that incites introspection. In 2020 the artist-run collective For Freedoms commissioned her to create a public monument in response to the 2020 US election. Yap’s billboard posed a question central to her practice: How do you keep your heart open? Realised as a pencil drawing with the telltale marks of a preparatory sketch, the work retains a sense of being in progress, and in doing so frames the self reflection it encourages: a continual process that embraces imperfections and vulnerability.

Yap is invested in the story behind the object. “Why not make the backstory - the usually-unseen where, who and how - as visible and present as the what?” Belonging (2017-2020) embodies this sentiment. Spanning three years, the series encompassed three projects with over 130 contributors. The process was in turn captured by a series of artworks: hand-painted signs which documented reflections written by the participants - making the “backstory” visible. With community and care running throughout her practice, Yap works towards a universal homecoming for all who encounter her art.

“I aim to reflect values of accessibility, transparency, generosity, and reciprocity.”Christine Wong Yap