Art Exhibit Series

Yale-China's 2013-2014 exhibit features paintings by nationally recognized illustrator and New Haven resident Michael Sloan. Michael depicts eighteen portraits, scenes of street markets, and social crossroads within the Hong Kong metropolis.

View the exhibit catalog.

About the Exhibit

Yale-China is proud to present Michael Sloan as its featured artist this year. Michael's understanding of Hong Kong culture has evolved out of years of relationship building and friendly communication—pillars of Yale-China's legacy. Michael offers a perspective of Hong Kong that is not always viewed as pleasant or picturesque but rather real and at times even grotesque. His work redefines iconic views of Hong Kong as scenes that are iconic not for the visitor, but for the local. He explores the nooks that lie wedged between gleaming skyscrapers and hidden behind the backdrop of hills, yet typify the everyday life of the community that supports the spectacular Westernized façade that represents Hong Kong to the rest of the world.

Michael depicts such pedestrian vignettes as a shopkeeper in a two square-meter space which houses not only tools of a trade but the makings of a small home. For those who live in this social stratum in Hong Kong, which includes domestic helpers, refugees, and native Cantonese, life is constantly pervaded by material, first-world culture. Yet for the individuals portrayed in this exhibit, this wealth is often nothing more than a stage setting for lives of hardship amidst severe change and economic development. Michael reveals these small business owners as the subject of this exhibit, which ponders the existence and future of this class of society in Hong Kong.

As part of Yale-China’s mission of fostering understanding between Chinese and Americans, the Art Exhibit Series presents art and artists who explore elements, subjects, or themes inspired by Yale-China’s work at the intersection of Chinese and American culture. Through his art, Michael Sloan furthers this objective by documenting the livelihoods and social conditions of one of the world’s great intersections for the Greater New Haven community and beyond.

This exhibit was on view from September 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014.

About the Artist

Michael spent several years working as a printmaker in France and Italy before moving to New York City. His first illustration assignment was published on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times. Since then his drawings have been published over 100 times in The New York Times Op-Ed Letters column.

Michael has worked for national magazines and newspapers as well as corporate and institutional clients and book publishers. Some of his regular publishers are The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, JP Morgan Chase, The New Yorker, Yale Alumni, The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, and NYC Outward Bound. Michael has also worked with John Wiley & Sons Publishers, The San Francisco Chronicle, Rhino Records, Barnes & Noble, and The American Prospect.

Michael’s work has been awarded three silver medals from The Society of Illustrators. He is the creator of the Zen of Nimbus comic. Michael also plays bass guitar in the all-illustrator jazz band The Half-Tones, performing frequently at The Society of Illustrators in NYC.

For more information about the artist, please visit

Other Arts Slideshows

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Foothills Photography Exhibit

Both Here and There: Yale-China and a Century of Transformative Encounters

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