Pop-in Expo
Varying presentations in the foyer

The pop-in expo Like a Pearl in my Hand shows photographs that are fully coated in black thermochromic ink. The underlying child portraits are revealed by touching the prints.


Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam


Free access

In Like a Pearl in my Hand, artist 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 multisensory experience encouraging social awareness. All photos are fully coated in black thermochromic ink. The warmth of a human hand, which is around 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, turns this ink transparent. The underlying portraits are revealed by touching the prints.

Carina Hesper

Artist Carina Hesper challenges the viewer to get actively involved in her work, which is about people with a special or marginal position in society. 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. Hesper graduated Cum Laude from the ArtEZ Institute for the Arts in Arnhem. 

Pop-in Expo

Bi-weekly presentations in the foyer, spotlighting a controversial new design, sensational research, work by an emerging talent or a new acquisition for the State Archive for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning.