In Like a Pearl in my Hand, Carina Hesper reveals a side of China that is mostly hidden from the outside world. Many parents in China give up their new-born child when they find out that it is visually impaired. This is a consequence of the one-child policy (formally changed to a two-child-policy in 2015) and the loss of face associated with having a child with a disability. Touched by these children’s fate, Carina visited different locations of the Bethel orphanage in Beijing, where she photographed children with a visual impairment.
Like a Pearl in my Hand is a multi-sensory experience encouraging social awareness. It is presented as a limited and signed edition box with 32 prints, all fully coated in black thermochromatic ink. This ink turns transparent by the warmth of a human hand which is around 20-25 degrees Celsius. When touching the prints the underlying portraits are revealed.
In Like a Pearl in my Hand form and content are brought together in a unique and interactive way; the blind children, their concealment from society and the touch that is needed to see their portraits. The viewer experiences what it is like to be without sight and becomes actively involved in the fate of a group of vulnerable children.
Additional reflective notes by Bettine Vriesekoop and Hannes Wallrafen are presented in a separate inlay, both in Chinese and English.
5% of all revenues will be donated to the Bethel orphanage in Beijing.
About Carina Hesper
Carina Hesper challenges the viewer to get actively involved in her work that often is about people with a special or marginal position in society and vulnerable locations like burned down houses. This results in works of art and design that are confrontational rather than comfortable, compelling the viewer to take a stand, and to reflect on social issues and developments.
Carina Hesper graduated Cum Laude from the ArtEZ Institute for the Arts in Arnhem. She has exhibited her work in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Brazil, The United States and China. She was nominated for many prizes - and won several.
About Bettine Vriesekoop
Bettine Vriesekoop played table-tennis for many years on a global level and became interested in Chinese culture through the many training courses. In 1996 Vriesekoop debuted as a writer and studied Chinese language and culture in Leiden. Since 2006, she lives and works in China and gives lectures on this country.
About Hannes Wallrafen
Hannes Wallrafen is a documentary photographer who became blind very suddenly in 2004. Since then he works primarily with sound and reflects on seeing in relation to the depiction of images in one’s inner self.
REVIEW AT TRENDTABLET BY LIDEWIJ EDELKOORT
REVIEW AT FOCUS MAGAZINE (IN DUTCH)