Banners and Plates series
Banner #1, 2010, color laser on acetate, holographic gift bag, mat board, frame, 12 x 9 inches / 30 x 23 cm
Made by styling and photographing ribbons, outputting color transparencies and layering them over laser paper gift bags.
Vinyl Ficus #3 & 4, 2010, vinyl, mylar, thread, lacing, wire, ~18 x 12 x 12 inches / 45 x 30 x30 cm each
Sewn and laced from plastics. Both the tropical plant and its standard plastic pot are ubiquitous.
Plate #5 & #6, from an edition of six decorative plates: stickers, labels, plateholders, custom acrylic stands, painted shelf, 72 x 8 x 14 inches / 1.8 m x 20 cm x 36 cm
Made from stickers and labels, resembling the decorative knick-knacks you can find in households of all classes.
Hankies, 2009–10, Edition of two embellished handkerchieves: fluorescent handkerchiefs, place mats, thread, wood, 18 x 18 x 2 inches / 46 x 46 x 5 cm each. This Too Shall Pass, 2010, Edition of three papercut collages: paper, calendars, adhesive, customized rabets and frame, painted shelf, 48 x 10 x 12 inches / 1.2 m x 25 cm x 30 cm
This Too Shall Pass could be interpreted optimistically, suggesting savoring pleasure and being resilient. As pleasure is necessarily fleeting, even modest pleasures will suffice, according to Paul Martin.
Irrational Exuberance (Asst. Colors) Peg/plex, 2009–10, pegboard, laser-cut acrylic, fluorescent lights, UV fluorescent lights, asst. works, 72 x 48 x 12 inches / 1.8 x 1.2 x 0.3 m
A display of readymades and one-offs.
Cute ___ Calendar, (shown: October, March, August), 2010, collage of found calendars, 12 x 12 x 0.5 inches / 30 x 30 x 1 cm
A papercut collage made of multiple calendars; an exercise in how endearing images can stimulate backlash.
Irrational Exuberance (Asst. Colors) buttons #1–3, 2010, badges, 1–1.75 inches / 2.5 x 4.5 cm dia. each.
To wear round buttons bearing an arrow is to decide which way the arrow points; even orientations as simple as up or down connote metaphors integral to human cognition. The kink in the arrow indicates setbacks, a pivotal gauge of explanatory style and optimism.
Available as a Multiple.
Unbounded/Unfounded, 2010, fan, metallic fringe and light box: pegboard, wood, acrylic, vinyl, lights, paint, 73 x 60 x 48 inches / 1.8 x 1.5 x 1.2 m
Makes visual the oscillating perceptions of optimism in mass media. The fact that optimism can be a choice doesn’t mean it’s unrealistic.
Untitled, 2010, site-specific durational display of latex balloons filled with helium, air and helium, and air, dim. var.
Inspired by discount culture and positive psychology, Irrational Exuberance (Asst. Colors) is an exercise in pleasure, modest expectations and accessibility.
Sight School, a storefront gallery, was transformed into a colorful shop-like interior, populated by reconfigured discount shop materials, illuminated pegboard displays and a text-based light box.
With its unabashed enthusiasm, extensive use of representation, and bright colors, Irrational Exuberance (Asst. Colors) marks a shift in direction stemming from my 2009 Breathe residency at Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester, U.K., where I became enamored with the aesthetic, symbolic and conceptual potential of discount store culture, the decorative impulse, and the search for happiness.
In Irrational Exuberance (Asst. Colors), sentiment and immediacy are embraced. The exhibition’s title highlights the paradox of thinking rationally about emotional and internal experiences. Alan Greenspan coined the term to negatively describe manic speculation; I borrow it to consider the positive activity of optimism. If being optimistic is embracing selective perspectives, what seems irrational may in fact be quite sensible.
Irrational Exuberance (Asst. Colors) follows in a Pop Art tradition of artist-created stores, following Claes Oldenberg, Keith Haring, Tracy Emin and Sarah Lucas, and Takashi Murakami. Yet it shares with contemporary artist Cary Leibowitz (Candyass) an un-ironic stance and cheap and cheerful appeal.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Sight School and Christine Wong Yap organized
1. Paul Martin, Sex, Drugs and Chocolate: The Science of Pleasure. London: Fourth Estate .
2. Mark Johnson and George Lakoff, Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: University of Chicago Press [1980, 2003].
3. The central theme in Martin E. P. Seligman's work in positive psychology. Martin E. P. Seligman, Learned Optimism. New York: Free Press .
Caption: Christine Wong Yap: Irrational Exuberance (Asst. Colors), Sight School, Oakland, CA, 2010.
The artist would like to extend her sincerest gratitude to Michelle Blade; featured guests Glen Helfand, Ginger Wolfe-Suarez and Patricia Maloney; chief technicians Justin Limoges and Brian Barreto; installation specialists Dana Hemenway and Suzanne Husky; inflation facilitator Scott L.; aesthetic instigator Amanda Curreri; and the light of her life, Michael Yap.