Photo Credit: Andreea Popa
5 Iconic Hand Sculptures Around The World
Hands are an important part of human life for people of all cultures and walks of life. Regardless of where we are from, we use our hands to touch, feel, communicate, and perform a wide range of necessary functions. So it’s unsurprising that hands are the body part of choice for many artists and sculptors all over the world looking to convey universal messages that can be relatable to and understood by any and everyone. There are numerous hand sculptures erected globally.
Here are five of the most well-known and iconic sculptures around the world featuring hands.
1. Mano del Desierto-Atacama Desert, Chile
Protruding from the sand in Chile‘s Atacama Desert, Mano del Desierto (the Hand of the Desert), stands at 36 feet tall. The sculpture was created by renowned Chilean sculptor, Mario Irarrazabal.
Mano del Desierto is said to have been made so large in order to symbolize the vulnerability and helplessness of human beings.
Irarrazabal is also the artist behind various similar hand sculptures around the world, including installations in Uruguay, Spain, and Italy.
2. Golden Bridge-Bà Nà Hills, Vietnam
According to Vu Viet Anh, Design Principal at TA Landscape Architecture, the firm behind Vietnam‘s Golden Bridge, the bridge was designed to evoke the image of the “giant hands of Gods, pulling a strip of gold out of the land.”
Since its completion in 2018, the photo-worthy bridge has become a poplar attraction amongst tourists. Designed to connect the Thien Thai garden to a cable car station, the bridge provides the perfect vantage point from which to take in some breathtaking views of the majestic Truong Son mountains.
3. Praying Hands-Tusla, United States
Standing 60 feet tall and weighing in at a whopping 30 tons, the praying hands at Tulsa‘s Oral Roberts University are the largest in the world. The sculpture is also the largest bronze sculpture in the world.
The work of art was created by artist Leonard McMurray, who modeled the hands off of those of his neighbor. The hands were completed in 1980 and originally stood in front of Oral Roberts’ medical center devoted to faith healing, but were later moved to the university.
4. Building Bridges-Venice, Italy
Many were saddened to see Venice’s iconic Support hand sculpture removed in 2018. Intended as a temporary art installation, the giant hands appeared to be reaching out of the Grand Canal, holding up the building of the Ca’Sagredo Hotel.
However, in 2019 a new hand sculpture by the same artist, Lorenzo Quinn, came to Venice. The Building Bridges sculpture installation consists of six pairs of hands connecting over a waterway.
The hands connect in different ways, and symbolize collaboration and overcoming differences.
“Humanity has never grown by creating barriers,” Quinn told the Associated Press. “It always grows when it opens up its borders, and it welcomes new cultures.”
5. Hands of Harmony-Homigot, South Korea
South Korea‘s Hands of Harmony consists of two hand sculptures, one protruding from the Sea of Japan and one situated on land in Homigot Sunrise Square.
The sculpture was created by Yeongnam University’s Professor Seung-guk Kim with support from Pohang Construction and Daegu Bank.
Hands of Harmony was erected in commemoration of the new millennium. The two hands stand facing each other to signify harmony and coexistence.