Giant Hands in East Village / by Mirena Rhee

Giant Hands is a site-specific installation by Mirena Rhee consisting of Giant Hands made out of lined bond paper painted with acrylic paint. In the past year Mirena created numerous site-specific installations using Giant Hands in Manhattan and in Beacon, New York. She designs the installations to have very little turnaround time where the hands could be transported and deployed very quickly. This site specific installation consists of hands hanging from the ceiling, being attached to walls in a non-destructive manner or simply draped over objects or walls, to create what she calls gestural mounds.

These series of installations arose from Mirena’s observations of simple and mundane daily activities like holding onto the rails in the subway where the hands draw extraordinary three-dimensional shapes. As the hands move through space they create flowing, complex structures of hand trails. This body of work explores these ephemeral constructs.

Each Giant Hand starts with a small hand gesture sketch which Mirena refines into a line drawing. She then enlarges the line drawing and transfers it to paper. She paints the enlarged hands using non-toxic acrylic paint.

When hung loosely, the hands travel in a series of gestures, follow a think line and coalesce into three-dimensional structures. Mirena’s hands serve as the models and main building element of the installations because, she explains, “they are always present and available, constantly traversing and dominating her personal space.”

About Mirena Rhee

Mirena works with a mix of live arts, digital media and fine arts. She starts with a drawing or several drawings which she then uses to create installations and animations. She often uses the installations as a stage to create a performance, include found objects, and sometimes remixes the results into a new video or animation.

Mirena’s installations and performances are often created in public spaces in New York City, in which she often engages the general public to create collaborative works of art.

Mirena lives and works in New York City. Prior to moving to New York, Mirena spent ten years in the Silicon Valley as a senior and lead artist for franchises like Star Wars, Iron Man, X-Men and Shrek. This type of commercial work involved working in a three dimensional space on the computer and her work carries over that three-dimensional play. In addition Mirena draws inspiration from the City of New York, its transient spaces, the objects strewn about the sidewalks and people she encounters on a daily basis.

For more information about Mirena, visit her online at You can also follow her on twitterinstagram, and facebook.