Celebration of the Hand: Lya Yang

Craft Lake City is pleased to announce Celebration of the Hand: Lya Yang, a new streetside display showcasing 14 photographs by local artist Lya Yang. The outdoor exhibition will be on view in downtown Salt Lake City from January-March 2021.

Craft Lake City held a  free virtual Lunch & Learn event on Wednesday, February 24 at noon with Lya Yang. Virtual attendees had the opportunity to meet Yang, view some of her work, share ideas and ask questions. You can view that recorded video HERE.

Informed by activist Jane Jacobs’ fascination with self-organized urbanism, Celebration of the Hand is a seasonal exhibition series designed to enhance and reflect Salt Lake City’s cultural district through the work of Utah artists. Celebration of the Hand is displayed in large frames adjacent to the sidewalks along Broadway (300 South) between 200 West and 200 East, and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week free of charge.

In Celebration of the Hand: Lya Yang, the artist shares photographs of individuals wearing fragmented mirror masks against diverse Utah landscapes. The collection of work evolved from a previous project titled Mirror Helmet, in which a block-formed headpiece constructed from mirrors was photographed to distort and reflect different surroundings. In this new variation, the mirrored masks are more compact and highly fractured, creating meaning from collective fragments rather than reflecting a specific scene. The images explore themes of place, identity and anonymity, and seek to capture the beauty found in imperfection.

“I think we all start off at some point simply imitating what is around us like a distorted mirror, but as life happens, things grow, break and change,” explains Yang. “I think there’s something beautiful about choosing to gather chipped and broken off pieces over and over to build something new. For this Celebration of the Hand, I wanted to highlight the beauty and diversity in our place, of both the physical land and those humans that inhabit it, and maybe recontextualize how we think of our people and our city.”

Lya Yang is a visual artist born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah by immigrant parents. She received a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Utah, but has an interest in many visual mediums, including 3-dimensional materials and photography. In 2018, Yang was selected as an Artisan Scholar for the Annual Craft Lake City DIY Festival Artisan Scholarship and Mentor Program.

For more information about Lya Yang’s art projects, follow her at @ohlyaa on Instagram or visit lyayang.com.

The Celebration of the Hand series is curated and organized by Craft Lake City. This project is supported in part by The Center for the Living City and The Temporary Museum of Permanent Change.