YBCA is committed to the transformative power of broad, boundary-breaking participation in art. We bring together artists, cultures, and communities, in bold, urgent, and accessible ways to deepen the public’s understanding of—and engagement in—the essential issues of our time and place. We are a home for the region’s creatives and communities—promoting proximity and sparking dynamic exchange between them.

Reflecting the Bay Area’s kaleidoscope of perspectives, YBCA and technology company GitHub partnered on the occasion of their annual Universe event to commission a site-specific public artwork by Oakland-based artist and activist Innosanto Nagara around the theme “Let’s build from here”. The resulting large-scale mural highlights the power of collaborative future-building by featuring the phrase “let’s build from here,” in the four most commonly-spoken languages of San Francisco (Tagalog, Chinese, Spanish, and English) across YBCA’s exterior. Evoking the idea of shifting perspectives, the mural is designed to be interactive when viewed through a colored prism (available in YBCA’s East Gardens or Grand Lobby, and made by Tinsel Experiential design). The prism activates the mural by hiding or revealing different elements depending on the color lens through which the viewer looks.

Innosanto Nagara has spent much of his career applying his skills and personhood to movements that seek to dismantle systems of oppression and destruction—to make room to build anew. As a children’s book author and illustrator, most of his books are about these fights. A is for Activist (2012) is about the issues. My Night in the Planetarium (2016) is about colonialism and the art of resistance. The Wedding Portrait is about direct action and civil disobedience. M is for Movement (2019) is about how to overthrow an oppressive regime. His most recent book, Oh, the Things We’re For! (2020) is about feeding our sense of what is possible through articulating a vision, so we remain motivated and energized for this work.

Let’s Build from Here asks us to imagine a world which invests in community, infrastructure, and—most importantly—the human spirit necessary to build a more just and equitable future. In a moment that calls for radical levels of hope and repair, we invite people to connect to and be changed by one another’s perspectives—in collective pursuit of a better way forward.

East Gardens, YBCA

Innosanto Nagara
b. 1970, Jakarta, Indonesia
Lives and works in Oakland

Let’s Build from Here, 2022
Printed vinyl
Courtesy the artist
Custom viewing wheel by Tinsel Experiential Design
Commissioned by GitHub