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Like a Pearl in my Hand

The blind will touch your face to see you. This book will force you to make that same experience if you want to see the blind.

A book completely covered with black thermo chromatic ink — you literally need to touch the pages to see the portraits of visually impaired Chinese children underneath the ink.

You can order Like a Pearl in my Hand through this webshop.

In Like a Pearl in my Hand, Carina Hesper reveals a side of China that is hidden from the outside world. Many parents in China give up their newborn child when they find out that it is visually impaired. This is a consequence of the One-Child policy (formally ‘relaxed’ in 2013) and the loss of face associated with having a child with a disability.

Touched by their fate, Carina Hesper photographed a group of orphaned children with a sight impairment in different locations of the Bethel orphanage in Beijing, China. Their portraits are collected in a monumental book that is fully coated in black thermochromatic ink. The thermochromatic ink becomes transparent at approximately 25 degrees Celsius. Through touch the underlying portraits can be revealed.

In Like a Pearl in my Hand, form and content are brought together in a unique way. The blind children, their concealment from society and the touch that is needed to see; the reader experiences what it is like to be without sight and is actively involved in the fate of a group of vulnerable children.

The book adds a tactile dimension to the medium of photography – a medium that is predominantly about seeing and being seen.

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