Yin/Yang Pavilion

Dan Graham


Simmons Hall (Building W79)

Dan Graham’s Yin/Yang Pavilion is installed on an outdoor terrace of Simmons Hall, which was designed by Steven Holl Architects. The pavilion is made of concave and convex two-way mirrored glass, a medium that creates constant fluctuations between transparency and reflection. Viewers activate the pavilion by moving through its curving spaces to experience superimposed anamorphic reflections of the sky, surrounding objects and landscape, and other spectators.

Graham says, “The observer becomes conscious of himself as a body, as a perceiving subject, and of himself in relation to his group. This is the reversal of the usual ‘loss of self’ when a spectator looks at a conventional art work.”

The floor of the Yang half of the circular pavilion is covered with white raked gravel referring to Japanese Zen gardens, while the Yin floor contains a shallow pool. The interactive and interpersonal nature of Graham’s artwork is further enhanced by the addition of seating surrounding the pavilion. 

*Note - this artwork may be viewed from outside of the building, but is otherwise only accessible by guided tour.

Read more about Dan Graham







Tempered glass, steel, gravel, water


84 in. x 131.75 in. x 131.75 in. (213.36 cm x 334.65 cm x 334.65 cm)


Commissioned with MIT Percent-for-Art Funds