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KQED – Christine Wong Yap Asks: Where Do You Feel a Sense of Belonging?

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KQED write up on former Sanitary Tortilla Factory Artist in Residence (A.I.R.) Christine Wong Yap.

“When we’re more self-aware,” Wong Yap’s Belonging project website states, “we can be more intentional about the spaces we co-create.”

Wong Yap is currently in the “production & commemoration” stage of Belonging, a months-long social practice project that began in November 2018 with her residency at Berkeley’s Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society.

For the first five weeks, she was in “story collection” mode, distributing and collecting questionnaires in English, Spanish and Chinese. She conducted workshops with the help of community groups like Soccer Without Borders, San Francisco’s Chinese Culture Center and The Beat Within. It’s an expanded version of a similar project she undertook in Albuquerque in 2017, when she was in residence at an arts space called the Sanitary Tortilla Factory.

Christine Wong Yap, From the 'Belonging Signs' series in Albuquerque, 2017.
Christine Wong Yap, From the ‘Belonging Signs’ series in Albuquerque, 2017. (Michael Apolo Gomez)

“I wanted to do something that said everyone belongs here,” she remembers. We’re sitting between two tables at Kala Art Institute, the venerable Berkeley printmaking workshop, with Wong Yap’s notes, sketches and bandanna prototypes spread around us.

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