Kit-Yin Snyder was born in Guangzhou, China and came to the United States at age 15. Her profession as an artist started in the 1970s in the area of ceramics. Then for several decades, Kit-Yin worked on site specific environmental sculpture, exhibiting in numerous alternative New York area sites such as P.S. 1, Artpark, Snug Harbor and in public spaces such as Bryant Park.
She has received numerous grants for her work in environmental sculpture, from organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation of Arts and the New York State Council of Art. Her award-winning public commissions include Margaret Mitchell Square in Atlanta and “Justice”, a collaboration with Richard Haas in New York City.
In the late 1990s, Kit-Yin turned to the medium of video. This change in medium allowed her to add yet another 4th dimension to her artwork and combine visual imagery with story-telling.
In March of 2022, Kit-Yin’s three-dimensional public artwork and filmmaking came together in the City of Atlanta. An excerpt from her video, “Double Exposure” can now be viewed, above and adjacent to the Margaret Mitchell Square where her public artwork continues to provide a space for visitors. The complete video can be viewed below.
City of Atlanta - Margaret Mitchell Square
In 1986 Kit-Yin Snyder was commissioned by the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program to create a sculpture for the downtown Margaret Mitchell Square Plaza. This public artwork was awarded an Excellence in Design award in 1987.
"Judgement" - New York City - Manhattan Detention Center -
In 1985, the New York City Percent for Art Fund awarded Kit-Yin Snyder and Richard Haas for a site-specific public artwork for the new Lower Manhattan Detention Center. The design was for the new public space and walk-way in the area between the historic “Tombs” detention center and a then-newly planned secondary detention center. The collaboration — design, planning and implementation — spanned seven and a half years and was completed in 1992. Based on the topic of justice, Kit-Yin designed and placed Seven Columns of Wisdom and Solomon’s Throne. In addition, Kit-Yin created a paver design which included the Chinese characters for the words “justice” and “Upright.”
Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1992)
Solomon’s Throne (1992)
“Judgement” received numerous awards as a public artwork. In 1988, Kit-Yin was awarded the Excellence in Design Award from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and a Certificate of Merit in Recognition of Outstanding Achievement in the Arts from the New York City Office of the Council President, Andrew Stein, in 1993
Exploring her own roots in two countries through humor and experimental imagery, sculptor and self-proclaimed “old Chinese lady”, Kit-Yin Snyder explores her own identity, being neither Eastern nor Western. This was the first film produced by Kit-Yin Snyder, when she was 68. Soon after its completion the Double Exposure was screened at the very first Tribeca Film Festival.
Double Exposure will be screened during an upcoming exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in December 2022.
Me & Marco Polo
This is an experimental documentary video that contrasts the cross-cultural adventures of Marco Polo from West to East with her from East to West. This film was partially funded by the Jerome Foundation.
Kit-Yin created numerous indoor and outdoor site-specific architectural installations throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Based in New York City, Kit exhibited in nontraditional gallery spaces, getting her start in 1979 as a Resident Artist at P.S. 1 in Long Island City. Her installations won numerous awards, grants an fellowships. In 1983, she was honored to be cited by art critic, Grace Gleuck in her Critic’s Choice column in the New York Times.
- 2003 – Tribeca Film Festival screening for Double Exposure
- 1993 – Yale University Womens Caucus for Art for Outstanding Contributions Made in the Arts
- 1989 – Excellence in Design, Art Commission, New York City for the White Street Detention Center commission
- 1987 – Excellence in Design, Atlanta GA, for Margaret Mitchell Square commission
- 1986 – National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Fellowship in Sculpture
- 1986 – Bessie award for set design for Throne Room for The Memory Theater of Julio Camillo at the Brooklyn Anchorage, Creative Time, New York City
- 1985 – New York State Council of the Arts (NYSCA) grant to build a set for the dancer, Blondell Cummings at the Midtown Whitney Museum, New York City
- 1983 – Winner of International Water Sculpture Competition, New Orleans World Expedition, LA
- 1982 – National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Fellowship in Sculpture
- 1981 – CAPS Grant in Sculpture, New York Artist in Residence, Bryant Park, Public Art Fund, New York City
- 1996 – Cosí E! (Se Vi Pare), multi-media installation of an adaption of a play by Luigi Pirandello, Gallery L’Eclisse, Rome, Italy.
- 1993-1994 – Piazza NAVONA: La Festa, Il Suo Futuro, winning design proposals for the 1994 competition to re-design Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy
- 1993 – New Expressions in Asian American Art, CUNY Graduate Center, New York City
- 1992 – Pathways, an outdoor permanent installation at SUNY Brockport, New York
- 1992 – Enrico IV, Tower Fine Art Center, SUNY Brockport, New York
- 1991 – Enrico IV – Revised, Kunstraum, Goppingen, Germany
- 1991 – Nothing Less Than a Man, a multi-media set/installation at the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, Portland, Oregon
- 1990 – Temple of Jupiter, an outdoor installation at Snug Harbor, Staten Island, New York
- 1990 – Enrico IV, a multi-media set/installation, Art Gallery at the Staller Center for the Arts, SUNY Stony Brook, NY
- 1989 – Flagellation: Homage to Piero della Francesca, Edicola, Rome, Italy
- 1986 – Throne Room, a set for “The Memory Theatre of Julio Camillo”, at the Brooklyn Anchorage, Creative Time, Inc., New York
- 1985 – Sicily Remembered, an outdoor installation for the Atlanta Art Festival, Atlanta, Georgia
- 1985 – Giardino Cinese, a collaborative installation at Sala Uno, Rome, Italy
- 1985 – A Fragment/A Moment, a set for dancer Blondell Cummings, Whitney Museum at Philip Morris, New York City
- 1985 – In Three Dimensions – Recent Sculpture by Women, Pratt Institute, New York
- 1984 – Hadrian’s Dream, an outdoor installation for the Houston Festival, Texas
- 1984 – Hadrian’s Improvisation, an outdoor installation at the Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York
- 1984 – Hadrian’s Retreat, Sculpture Center, New York City
- 1983 – Córdoba, at CUNY, City University Center, New York City
- 1983 – House That Art Built, CAL State Fullerton Gallery, Fullerton, California
- 1983 – Siciliana, an outdoor installation at Artpark, Lewiston, New York
- 1983 – Shared Space, Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY
- 1983 – Air and Ice, an outdoor installation on Lake George, Bolton Landing, New York
- 1982 – Cloister, Just Above Midtown (JAM), New York City
- 1981 – Two Part Invention, an outdoor installation at Bryant Park, New York City
- 1981 – Environmental Interplay – 7 Sculptors, Alternative Museum, New York City
- 1981 – Made in Philadelphia IV, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), PA