International District / Chinatown Branch : Art at the Branch

Header Image

Library Locator

Map of Library Locations

International District / Chinatown Branch

Art at the International District / Chinatown Branch

Click on any image below to see a larger view.


Wellspring by artist Rene Yung

'Wellspring' by Rene Yung


  • 120 teacups form a large oval on the wall above the stacks.
  • A display of teacups is installed in an interior window. Etched glass art on both sides of the window feature relevant quotes and information about some of the cups.
  • Internally lit, clear resin cubes are placed at the entry and in the stacks; a single teacup floats in each.


Artist's inspiration Display case with teacups

The well nourishes and is not exhausted.
- The I-Ching


Wellspring draws from the idea of essential nourishment represented by the library and its community. The cup is a simple but potent symbol across cultures because it is a vessel that brings the primal substance - water - to our lips. Among the diverse cultures of Seattle's International District/Chinatown, the teacup also symbolizes hospitality and traditions that enrich the community. Wellspring is a collection of teacups donated by the community, each cup an individual well of nourishment, and jointly, a gathering of goodwill and vitality.


I hope the artwork will help patrons, the Library and the community deepen their relationships. The stories behind the teacups are touching and remarkable, and often connect to one another. Thus, Wellspring also is a celebration of the storms in teacups, which far from trifling, are the stuff of life, and the subject of all the volumes of all libraries.

- International District/Chinatown Branch artist Rene Yung

...humanity has ...met in the teacup
- Kakuzo Okakura


The artist's inspiration in five languages:



About the Artist


A San Francisco-based artist, writer and designer, Rene Yung grew up in colonial Hong Kong before emigrating to the United States as a teenager. Her installations combine image, object and text to explore issues of culture, identity, language, and the multilayered meanings inherent in the experiences of people who leave their homelands. She has been commissioned to create public artworks by the Seattle Arts Commission, City of Oakland Cultural Arts Division, On Lok Senior Health Services, and the San Francisco Arts Commission.


Link to teacup donors and stories

Safe Place

International District / Chinatown Branch
713 Eighth Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98104



1 pm - 8 pm


1 pm - 8 pm


11 am - 6 pm


11 am - 6 pm


11 am - 6 pm


11 am - 6 pm


1 pm - 5 pm

Regional Manager:
Wei Cai

Libraries for All: Investing in Experiences