Hand Gestures

by Jiheng Yan

For this week's blog post, I would like to talk about photographs of hands. I always have a special feeling for photos with hands in them. To me, hands are the most magical and busy part of a human's body. People use hands to do almost everything in their daily lives. From the moment we wake up in the morning to the moment we sleep, when we are staying in one place, our hands are in use even we don't notice we are using our hands unintentionally.

I noticed that a lot of people would make some hands gesture while they are waiting. Some people like to cross their fingers; some people play with their fingers to make noise out of their knuckles; some people squeeze their fists. I was drawn in looking at people making various types of hand gestures that I can't even find words to describe them. I started to search for photos of hands.

  Je tends les bras , Claude Cahun, 1931

Je tends les bras, Claude Cahun, 1931

  Rebecca's Hands , Paul Strand, 1923

Rebecca's Hands, Paul Strand, 1923

  Flute Handshake , Walker Pickering

Flute Handshake, Walker Pickering

I have been shooting my own hands with my phone since 2013. Since I saw Eggleston's photo of a guy stirring the ice in a plastic cup with a straw on a plane, I felt I should create a series of photographs of my hands when I am in between things. I started to get a sense of why people are making hands gestures. Since we were born, we begin to play with our hands when we are all infants. Thinking about what babies do when they are bored, they put their hands in the mouths. The circumstance is similar when we are waiting.

  En route to New Orleans , William Eggleston

En route to New Orleans, William Eggleston

  Untitled #1 , Jiheng Yan

Untitled #1, Jiheng Yan

  Untitled #2 , Jiheng Yan

Untitled #2, Jiheng Yan

  Untitled #1 , Jiheng Yan

Untitled #1, Jiheng Yan

  Untitled #1 , Jiheng Yan

Untitled #1, Jiheng Yan

  Untitled #1 , Jiheng Yan

Untitled #1, Jiheng Yan

  Untitled #1 , Jiheng Yan

Untitled #1, Jiheng Yan