Tag Archives: photography

At the Chinatown/North Beach Center Library

Yeye Teng

An exhibition of photographs by Yiye Teng

October 2014-January 2015
Click here for location and hours.

Water, one of the most ancient and basic elements, gives life on earth. As such a vibrant organism, water flows, floats, and changes its form all the time. There is a saying in Chinese classic text, Tao Te Ching: “The highest excellence is like that of water.” As Chinese, I believe that water contains the hidden, unknown potential to become part of the art work.

Water has always been a complicated subject for me. As a child, I nearly drowned in a local pool and have been fearful of the power of water ever since that incident. Over the years, my relationship with water has shifted gradually from one of fear to one of curiosity and wonder. I am fascinated with the changing patterns and forms that are created as water moves and interacts with different methods.

“Waterscapes” is a conceptual abstract series that explores the dynamic interaction of water in relation to a variety of mediums. It embodies much of what I have learned through studying advanced photographic techniques, as well as my early training in Chinese ink painting and calligraphy.

Shaping a variety of patterns from its shapeless is the most beautiful side of water. To record the original movements from it, the way that I have found out is to expose it directly on the light-sensitive paper without using camera in the darkroom. This process reflects a certain extent of the original definition of “photography”, which is thought to derive from the ancient Greek words “phot” and “graphos”, meaning “light” and “drawing”.

Water became my partner in this process. With its infinite potential and vitality, I am amazed by the interaction of water and other mediums created. As something we might see everyday, we have not really seen the magic of it, and that also drove me to visualize it by my own artistic language.

Yiye_overview crYiYe Teng 的
Yiye Teng is a recent graduate from the Photography Department at the Academy of Art University.



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Revolutionizing Memory, Constructing the Future

March 16-September 16, 2011

Stencil Art from Buenos Aires, Argentina

Rick Kappra describes his photographic exhibition
in the Rosenberg Library:

In the summer of 2007 I went to Buenos Aires to study Spanish for two months.  I knew some of the history, but I didn’t know the details.  I was curious and wanted to learn more.

I found that people were very willing to talk about politics in Argentina, unlike in the United States, where political discussions are not considered appropriate for “polite” conversations, or where our political discourse is often more mythology than fact.  In Argentina, discussions of politics were everywhere – in my Spanish classes, on TV, and among friends.  People were not afraid to talk about the dirty war, the 30,000 or more Argentines who were “disappeared”, the economic collapse or the things that caused it.  After 25 years of being afraid to speak, Argentines believed in the power of their voices, their memories and their political action.

This belief in the importance of political action was reflected in the daily protests that closed streets and schools and shut down train lines.  Direct action seemed to be the greatest political weapon that modern Argentina had, or perhaps its last resort.

I first discovered stencil graffiti in the neighborhood of San Telmo.  I believe it was my second day in Buenos Aires.  “Soy puto y soy feliz” – ‘I’m a fag and I’m happy’ was one of the first that I saw.  “Besa a quien quieras” – ‘Kiss whomever you want’, was another.  Among this collection of powerful statements of queer militancy, were teddy bears and other whimsical figures.  It was my introduction to a world of expression I quickly learned to love.  As I went about documenting it, it became like a treasure hunt.  Each piece of graffiti revealed one more aspect of the tremendous fight Argentines were waging to free themselves from their past while not forgetting it.  Queer rights, women’s rights, class struggle and calls for prosecution of those behind recent human rights violations were some of the many issues that were expressed through the stencil graffiti.  The struggle to save their schools, a cause of many of the street protests, appeared alongside other rallying cries. The graffiti was simple, direct and for me as a learner of Spanish as a second language, easy to understand and digest.  In its simplicity lay its power.

Rick Kappra, Photographer
ESL Instructor, Civic Center Campus, City College

Find Information on:
Argentina and Street Art through the City College Library

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Filed under Art and Activism, City College Community, Cultural Studies

Focus on Living: Portraits of Americans Living with HIV and AIDS

October 15, 2007 – April 15, 2008, Rosenberg Library, 2nd Floor Atrium



Photograph and text copyrighted by Roslyn Banish, 2008 All Rights Reserved


“I’m twenty-one years old and I’m from St. Louis, Missouri. . It all started when I turned sixteen. That is when I got my HIV diagnosis. . . I was a junior in high school. When my mother found out I was HIV positive, she instantly started crying. It was hard because she would never talk about it. Now she’s supportive with everything I do. A dramatic change. But she’s still drinking. . . She knows that there is a possibility that the son she wished was dead, could be dead.

. . . Now here I am today. I am still struggling, but I have more strength than I ever thought I could have in this world. My T cell count is higher, 564. My weight stands firm, 185. I feel healthy, I feel ‘gorgeous,’ like I tell everybody else.

I would like to do some modeling. I do poetry. I’ve written over 350 poems already. Actually I do enjoy writing when I have feelings. I also love music. It’s another way I express how I feel. I love R and B. . . mainly Regina Belle. She tells it all.

Before I found out about my HIV, I was just another youth. I was an angry youth. I was abused sexually, mentally, emotionally, physically. I hated my family. I can honestly say this disease has given me a new outlook on life. No, I’m not happy that I’m HIV positive, but I can truly say that it has given me a lot of positive thoughts on what life is and how important it is.”

Student comments:

“…the one thing that grasped my attention was the poem format. I started reading his poem and the first thing that popped up in my head was that this guy sounds like me at one point in my life. The way that he expresses feelings in the poem was like reminiscing of my downfalls in a nutshell.” Sailialii Tupai

“I chose Maurice because of the deep look he possessed in his picture. His eyes told it all. I could see the pain and the struggle in his eyes, but also the happiness that he enjoys.” Anneice Miller


Photograph and text copyrighted by Roslyn Banish, 2008 All Rights Reservedfff


“More than likely I got infected through my husband, but I don’t think that’s relevant. He was very sick and got an AIDS diagnosis. Then my children and I got tested. Christina, my middle child, and I tested positive. My older daughter, Samantha, and my youngest child, Joey, are negative. My husband has since died of AIDS.

Christina found out about her illness through her older sister, Samantha. . . One day she said to me, ‘Yeah, Mommy, when is that HIV going to be out of my blood?’ When you keep secrets, especially from kids, they’re going to think the worst.

I have learned that as caregivers and nurturers, we women tend to not focus on our own health. . . I never put my own health first. I had missed two mammogram appointments. . . Last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer. When I was going through chemotherapy it was very hard on my kids.

I would say that my kids are the reason I never gave up. It was not even an option. Whatever thoughts I might have had about checking out, my reality was my kids.

All my life I had worked, starting at age fourteen. . . I was working as a legal secretary. Because I was making good money at my job, I got pretty good benefits (Social Security disability). I looked at the cosmos and said, ‘Maybe this is my way of doing something for my community, doing something for women.’

It allowed me to work in the HIV community. About three years ago another woman and I started a program in New York City called SMART University (Sisterhood Mobilized for AIDS/HIV Research and Treatment). . . It’s about empowering women to take control of their lives, to become informed participants in treatment, making decisions, and hopefully to become activists and advocates for themselves and maybe for their community.

Challenges now? Cleaning my house. Getting my kids to pick up after themselves. HIV is not a challenge. I’m not happy about having it, obviously. . . but it’s nothing I can change, so I have to deal with it the best way I can.

After the diagnosis, every waking moment it was ‘I’m HIV positive, I’m HIV positive.’ Now it’s not who I am. I‘m not HIV. It’s a disease that I have and I’m living with it.

I deal with whatever comes my way one step at a time. And Christina, she’s doing great right now.”ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

Student comments:

“…it touched me emotionally. I can’t relate to any of these diseases but I can feel apologetic because such wonderful people are infected with diseases that are lifelong and incurable.” Christie

“…the picture stood out to me. Reading the story makes me want to take better care of myself and help the ones I care about care for themselves.” Anonymous

“The biggest thing that moved me is her way to deal with HIV. She is not HIV itself she just lives with HIV. She did not lose her way even though she encountered a big difficulty.” Tomomi Seyama

“Giving help to other women in the HIV community… makes me esteem her much. I think I should try to use my power to help others. I believe this action can surely make my daily life become more meaningful.” Ip Ling Fei


Photograph and text copyrighted by Roslyn Banish, 2008 All Rights Reserved


(Founder of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. Today over forty-four thousand panels comprise the Quilt. The panels, each six by three feet, have been designed and sewn by friends, partners and family members to honor their loved ones lost to AIDS.)

“Is there a family left in this country that doesn’t know someone with AIDS? People have come out about their HIV status and it’s very much like the gay struggle in that we win when we are open and honest about our lives. When heterosexuals come to know gay and lesbian people, they cease fearing us. The people that I think have made the difference have been ordinary people with AIDS who are so courageous about revealing their status to the world. By doing so they compelled and required this country and our society to move forward. . .

I had the idea for the quilt on November 27, 1985, at the Candlelight March for Harvey Milk and George Moscone, San Francisco’s supervisor and mayor who were assassinated. . . I knew back then that millions were going to die, and I knew that the quilt would be a good vehicle for all of us who were suffering so much. . . I’m just a person who had a good idea and was fortunate enough to find people who shared it and made it work. . .

It’s hard not having any friends left from when I was twenty. If there’s no one left in your life who knew you when you were young, that part of you sort of doesn’t exist any more. .

Right now my time is really divided between downtime, when I’m not feeling really great, and uptime. When I’m not feeling great I tend to stay home and futz around in the garden and hide a bit. When I’m feeling well I go out on the road with quilt displays for presentations to colleges and high schools.

In our group of, say, twelve people, I think most of us are patient, pissed off, hopeful, scared. There’s not a lot of time to be unproductively emotional. . .

We’re just trying to stay alive and do the work that needs to be done. We are pre-occupied with things like making sure that a seven-year-old friend of ours with HIV is allowed to go to school and not be abused by the other children. . . It’s issues like getting money for housing for friends from HUD, getting people signed up for benefits, figuring out how to pay for medications. It’s very time consuming and requires one to stay pretty focused. Anger is always there, but I think people realize how much they have to focus on the work of staying alive and moving this forward.”

Student comments:

“The thing that immediately intrigued me about his story was the simple fact that he carried a quilt around the nation to share people’s stories. I thought that was a great way for someone to be remembered.” Mitch

“He [Cleve] saw the impact way before the need was there and even though he is HIV positive himself he has turned something from a negative into a positive for the community.” Kirk Linn

“In the face of such adversity he can still find so much strength to help others is something I can only hope I have inside me too.” Mike

Explore More!

HIV AIDS Bibliography
Roslyn Banish’s Webliography

Focus on Living by Roslyn Banish
Borrow this Book from the City College Library
Order it from the University of Massachusetts Press

Learn About Support Resources at City College
City College Library
Project Safe
Queer Resource Center
Student Health Center
Women’s Resource Center

City College Departments with Related Classes

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Studies Department
Photography Department
Health Education and Community Health Studies Department


Filed under Art and Activism, City College Community