The Monument as Living Memory

Project Added: December 28, 2021
Project Point of Contact: [email protected]
Public art work of a city with a reptile type creature looking over the skyline

Dancer, director, storyteller, and YBCA 10 cohort member My-Linh Le collaborates with new media artist Jeffrey Yip to monumentalize a myth from the future, featuring a commissioned illustration by Kazu Tabu. 

The Origin Story of No Name speaks from the future about the present, and explains how 1,000 years from now people came to speak the same language—one that relies less on the representational system of words and more on the emotional and spiritual resonance of sound, facial, and bodily expression; intuitive understanding; and the creative force inherent in the breath. The myth’s nameless deity is revered in the distant future as the god of communication and prayer. The deity swallows a world made of the buzzwords of our time. Its actions remind us that words can only ever serve as incomplete and unreliable representations that, when entrusted with the task of conveying an objective truth, mirror our distorted and impoverished perceptions of reality. Le and Yip work together to translate the myth using present-day methods of storytelling, including technology such as augmented reality (AR) and projection mapping.

My-Linh Le & Jeffrey Yip

Arts-and Intersections:

Equity & Diversity, Political Activation



San Francisco, California



Visual art

Population Density:


Large Intended Impact Area:



A Collective Architectural Intervention led by Caleb Duarte

The Monument as Living Memory illustrates the closure, dismantling, and restructuring of institutions, the toppling of monuments, and the uprising of a palpable collective spirit across our country. Taking form as a larger-than-life board in the public space, this work echoes the simultaneous temporary closure of YBCA’s galleries and the opening of a platform for public voice. Within the board lies a distinct cut-out in the shape of a monument, asking audiences to question what is behind the shadows, what is haunting us, and how can art and art institutions work towards its dismantlement.


For eight months, Duarte invited Bay Area artists and collectives to bring new revisions, additions, and cover-ups every two weeks. Now in the work’s second chapter, invited artists will continue to transform this evolving artwork through 2021.

The iterative nature of the work allows for artists to respond with the same urgency, responsiveness, and passion that we see within the communities marching in the streets, creating murals, and demanding a better, more just world.

The Monument as Living Memory is one of the many YBCA initiatives reimaginings how we can safely bring our community together in person once again. Experience the work 24/7. Always free. No appointment is necessary.


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