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The Vault: C.J. Yao

Sept. 4–30, 2018

The Vault

C. J. Yao, Building Reflection, from the portfolio Cityscapes, 1979. Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, gift of Ralph Slovenko.

This work was selected by Kyndra Sisayaket (class of 2020), who explains: “In the Cityscapes portfolio, C.J. Yao captures American life and cities through reflections on windows and buildings. I chose this work because I like how busy it is and that a second glance is required in order to understand what is going on. It’s difficult to tell whether you are looking at a reflection or an actual object—it’s almost like looking at an optical illusion or playing a mind game. I am from Washington, where nature is abundant, so this work allows me a glimpse into the everyday urban life which I have never experienced. What surprised me most about the print is how glossy it is. This made me realize how important it is to view art in person rather than as images on a screen.”

The Vault

The Vault, which also houses some of the works from our permanent collection, is dedicated to featuring and displaying works chosen by MSU students who work at the museum. Each month, one of our student gallery guides selects a piece from our collection and writes a short text explaining why they chose it and believe it should be displayed. By providing our gallery guides with an opportunity to participate in the curatorial process of selection and display, we aim to open a dialogue with the student community while simultaneously sharing with the public works from the collection that would otherwise remain in storage.