Citizenship

We Got Each Other’s Backs: Downloadable Solidarity Poster

[Updated 11/19/2016: A bilingual Spanish poster has been added.]

Here’s a call for solidarity among all the people targeted by Trump. Download this poster in English or Spanish, print and share it under a Creative Commons License (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International).

Christine Wong Yap, We Got Each Other's Backs, 2016, letterpress print, 12x18 inches.

Christine Wong Yap, We Got Each Other’s Backs, 2016, letterpress print, 12×18 inches.


Christine Wong Yap, Nos Cubrimos Las Espaldas/We Got Each Other's Backs/No Mi Presidente, 2016, letterpress print, 12x18 inches.

Christine Wong Yap, Nos Cubrimos Las Espaldas/We Got Each Other’s Backs, 2016, letterpress print, 12×18 inches.*

Today, passing Trump Tower amidst other shellshocked New Yorkers, I thought about all the people Donald Trump has alienated on his path towards the US Presidency. I thought about women, African Americans, Latinx, immigrants, Muslims, LQBTQs, and the disabled. I was reminded that other artists have responded in crises, and then I was motivated by how disparate groups can unite in spite of this targeting. The despair was real, but our skills, and our capacities for solidarity and resistance, are too.

I printed this poster today. It’s letterpress-printed, with pressure plate and wood type. B organized a meeting at an art non-profit*, and I intended to distribute posters there. But as I was finishing up printing, a group of Latinx came in to the printshop. It was an ESL class from La Guardia on a field trip. They did not like Trump and were delighted I gave them posters. It was clear they were really proud to express their resistance.

*Thanks Young Zo for the translation help! I could design this poster in different languages; translation is my biggest obstacle. If you can help with translating this idiom into other languages of those groups particularly targeted by Trump, let me know!

Addendum (December 5,2016)

“We Got Each Other’s Backs” is a principle. The poster serves to remind ourselves and each other. But we must also back up those words with actions. It is not enough to perform allyship. Trump and his Islamophobic, homophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-reproductive rights cabinet will wield real power, enact real laws, and hurt real people’s lives. We have to actively resist and take risks, especially when it is inconvenient, uncomfortable, and risky.

I am disheartened to read that NYC subway riders did not intervene when three drunk men recently harassed an 18-year-old Egyptian American woman wearing a headscarf. (Though the Times reported that bystanders on the platform tried to stop the attackers from escaping.) But I’d expected that subway riders would speak up. Silence is complicity. Passively allowing rights to be eroded is anticipatory obedience to white supremacy.

Yet how can I say that I would have intervened? It is indulgent to imagine scaring off attackers with righteous indignation. But the reality is that I wasn’t there, I didn’t feel the intimidation or fear, and I don’t know how to defuse a situation. I’d like to think that being present—as in #illwalkwithyou—would help. But what a gamble (and pretension) to risk your and someone else’s safety on the assumption that your untutored participation (or privilege) will stop a bigot.

So I’m going to a community workshop to learn tactics to intervene productively. Join me.

Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer invites you to a community Self-Defense, Anti-Bullying, and De-Escalation Training Learn self-defense, de-escalation, and upstander tactics from the Women's Initiative for Self-Empowerment (WISE) and the Center for Anti-Violence Education to protect yourself and your neighbors. Wednesday, December 14, 6pm-8pm Sunnyside Community Services 43-31 39th Street, Sunnyside RSVP: 718-383-9566 or eehrenberg@council.nyc.gov Free and open to all. Reserve your spot today!

If you can’t make it to Western Queens, invite trainers to conduct a workshop at your school, workplace, or community. Or, read “How to Help if Someone Is Being Harassed,” by Anna North (New York Times, November 23, 2016), including the links in the last paragraph.

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News

The Present Group Issue #21 is here!

Christine Wong Yap. Ten Banners for Home and Office, 2012, three-color screen print on cut holographic vinyl, edition of 50, 13.5x19 inches.

Christine Wong Yap. Ten Banners for Home and Office, 2012, three-color screen print on cut holographic vinyl, edition of 50, 13.5×19 inches.

The Present Group Issue #21 is now available! It’s a new poster / sticker sheet. Each of the ten banners can be removed and adhered to various surfaces, such as walls, mugs, or dashboards. You can also write on the banners, creating memos of things to celebrate.

I created the design especially for The Present Group, an Oakland, CA subscription art service. I styled and photographed an array of ribbons, and shot numerous exposures for the cyan shadings. It was printed by Forthrite Printing in Oakland, CA in a limited edition of 50.

In addition, The Present Group produced an audio interview, commissioned an essay by artist and writer Sarah Hotchkiss, and posted a page of annotated links. I’m so grateful for all the long hours and hard work they put into this project—huge thanks to E and O. I was also moved by Sarah’s reaction:

“Instead of preserving the sticker sheet as a whole, I want to test the sticker’s ability to dazzle me for days on end. My six-year-old self wouldn’t understand, but Christine’s stickers lead me to understand something of myself and her practice simultaneously: distributing good and cheerful things into the world begets real and lasting pleasure.”

—Sarah Hotchkiss, “The Sparkle Effect,” essay accompanying The Present Group Issue #21

Since the poster is holographic, it reflects in rainbow colors. You can see some of this effect via an animated GIF at The Present Group site. You can also see the poster in person in Kearny Street Workshop’s exhibition, Nomad, which opens this Friday, September 28. I’ll also show another screenprint project as well.

September 28–December 14, 2012
Kearny Street Workshop presents
Nomad: Art from Four Decades of KSW’s Wanderings
Reception: Friday, September 28, 2012, 6–9pm
I-Hotel Manilatown Center, 868 Kearny Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
Gallery Hours: Tuesdays – Saturdays, 1–6pm

The Present Group is a subscription art service, but individual orders are available. For how much? You might be pleasantly surprised.

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Art & Development

Reasons to Get Excited

The art fairs are coming to NYC this week: Armory, Pulse*, Independent, VOLTA, Red Dot, Scope, ADAA, Fountain, and Verge [see Artcard.cc’s Art Fair Google map] not to mention the slew of concurrent activity. But in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’m missing out on the solo shows of some dear friends. These are people who work super hard and are finally getting their due. See what they’ve been toiling at.

March 12-April 9
Pablo Guardiola
Jet Travel

Reception: Saturday, March 12, 6-9pm.
Romer Young Gallery
1240 22nd Street, San Francisco
Gallery hours: Tuesday & Thursday, 6-9; Friday & Saturday, 11-5, and by appt7

March 4-April 1
Charlene Tan
400%

Reception: Friday, March 4, 6:00-8:30pm
Ampersand International Arts
1001 Tennessee Street (at 20th. st.)
San Francisco, California 94107
Gallery hours: Thursdays and Fridays, noon-5pm, and by appointment

Details TBA: ~ April 1
Anthony Daniel Ryan

Lake Gallery, San Francisco

Plus, Weston Teruya has curated a show with some great artists…

March 11-April 23
On The Ground
Taha Belal, Gaye Chan, Sofia Cordova, Sergio De La Torre, Malak Helmy, Juan Luna-Avin, Jerome Reyes, Rene Yung

Reception: Friday, March 11, 2011, 7-9pm
Southern Exposure
3030 20th Street (@ Alabama)
San Francisco, CA 94110
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 12-6pm

I designed the poster… We were inspired by maps and blue lines.

On the Ground, Southern Exposure poster. Design: Christine Wong Yap.

Poster for Southern Exposure's exhibition, On the Ground. Design: Christine Wong Yap.

*Art in General‘s booth at Pulse to preview a new multiple by William Pope.L!

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