Art & Development


Found these old schematics recently. I made them while developing Dark into Light, an installation of 100 night lights. These schematics made me laugh, and I thought you might like them too.

Dark into Light light box construction schematic

Dark into Light light box construction schematic, 2008

Dark into Light installation hardware schematic

Dark into Light installation hardware schematic, 2008

There is a lot of invisible labor that goes into making art and exhibitions. You come up with projects, solve problems, and learn about materials—and that’s before you even make the work, finish it, pack it, transport it, and figure out how to install it. These sketches are not art; they’re byproducts, but after not seeing them for a while, I found them surprisingly fun and funny to look at and think about, if partly for the absurdity of all the work it takes to make even minimal, quiet installations.

Art & Development, News

upcoming: tech tools, open studio

dark into light christine wong yap
Dark into Light, 2008, mixed media installation: 100 night lights, par can, spot bulb, 10 x 10 x 8 feet. Swarm Gallery

Dark into Light, an installation I first showed at Swarm Gallery in Oakland, last year, will be included in Tech Tools of the Trade: Contemporary New Media Art at de Saisset Museum, April 17 – June 28, 2009.

I’ll still be here in the UK during the opening on Friday, April 17, 2009 from 7:00-9:00 pm, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be there!

It should be a great show; the other artists include Jim Campbell, Anthony Discenza, Rodney Ewing, Martha Gorzycki, Lynn Hershman, Scott Kildall, Nina Katchadourian, Andrew Kleindolph, Jill Miller, Deborah Oropallo, Alan Rath, Jackie Sumell, Stephanie Syjuco, Gail Wight.

I’m also really looking forward to the program on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 from 6:00-8:00 pm, Tactical Digital Aesthetics, an evening of art and conversation exploring new media, remediation, and cultural politics. Keynote by Johanna Drucker; roundtable by Ray Beldner, Stephanie Syjuco, Anthony Discenza, and Johanna Drucker; and moderated by Katie Vann and Kathy Aoki.

This survey exhibition features work produced by Bay Area-based or Bay Area-rooted artists using new media—defined in the context of this exhibition as electronic, digital, or web-based. Organized into accessible thematic sections, the work in this exhibition explores the ways that technology has shaped our sense of selves, our vision, our bodies, and our world. The exhibition examines our cultural fascination with technology (including our continued faith in its benefits), our myriad uses of the internet, as well as the potentially troubling applications of technology in simulation and surveillance.

While the work in the exhibition features a broad range of conceptual and artistic approaches, all of it is unified by its multidisciplinary content. As a result, the exhibition has been organized around thematic areas that highlight the works’ connections to contemporary cultural and social phenomena: Biomorph, Identity, Web Repurposing, New Light, Hope and Promise, Surveillance, and Simulation.

This exhibition is co-curated by the de Saisset Museum and SCU Assistant Professor Kathy Aoki.

Unlimited Promise, 2009, installation: foil paper, thread, light, shadow, 15 x 20 x 14 feet. Produced in the Breathe Residency at Chinese Art Centre.
Unlimited Promise, 2009, installation: foil paper, thread, light, shadow, 15 x 20 x 14 feet. Produced in the Breathe Residency at Chinese Art Centre.

Open Studio 23 – 30 April 2009
Reception: Thursday 23 April, 5.30-7.30pm

If you’re in Manchester, come to the Open Studio at Chinese Arts Centre! The reception co-incides with the preview for Ed Pien’s new installation in the Centres’ gallery.

Breathe Artist-in-Residence Christine Wong Yap, a multi-disciplinary visual artist from San Francisco, California, will open her studio to the public from April 23 – 30, 2009, with a public preview on Thursday, 23 April, 5.30-7.30 pm.

Christine Wong Yap’s art practice is an exploration of the competing pulls of optimism and pessimism. Using metaphors such as dark and light or words and meanings, Wong Yap explores the dialectical relationship between optimism and pessimism and its influence on our experience of the world. Her explorations take the form of installation, sculpture, multiples and works on paper.

Wong Yap, who has been in residence at the Chinese Arts Centre since 29 January, has immersed herself in art activity throughout the Northwest. She’s presented her work to MA students from local universities and reviewed art events and exhibitions from Barrow to Birmingham on her blog. She has also engaged in a self-directed course of study spanning British commemoratives, Roman typography, Mancunian slang and temperments, institutional signage, President Obama’s optimism, time perspectives and utopias. Her recent studio activities include text-based drawings, a installation of lights and shadows, and a light-box integrated into the Centre’s architecture. During the Open Studio, Wong Yap will share works-in-progress and release a new artist’s multiple.

Art & Development

Diagram as sketch

dark into light installation guide
Christine Wong Yap, Schematic for Dark into Light, 2008, computer drawing, dimensions variable.

Design skills come in handy, now that I’m starting to think of diagrams as sketches. I’ve been using InDesign with a 1-inch grid with 12 subdivisions. This is great for drawing large installations to scale. Sure beats 1/4″ graph paper.

Nerdy, I know. But skills make life easier. Just the other day, D.G. explained a concept of electrical circuits to me. I thought it was pretty cool, until he said, “That’s the only thing I remember from second grade electronics.” Which made me realize that I didn’t take second-grade electronics — or any electronics for that matter! I bought a book, “Wiring 1-2-3,” a few weeks ago, but it seems like I’ll never catch up. I guess better late than never.

Dark into Light won’t be the most effective electrical circuit, but I still think it’ll be cool. Come to Swarm Friday night to see what I mean.