Investigating Sense Perception: Hands Holding the Void

Traditionally, sense perceptions have been explored extensively by artists. Highly developed perceptual sensitivity is the talent and field of expertise of an artist. Their explorations and discoveries hold valuable lessons about the nature of reality. This series is about artworks that resonate Buddhist teaching.

Hands Holding the Void
Hands Holding the Void

Alberto Giacometti, Hands Holding the Void, 1935, bronze cast, MoMA


The statue expresses the artist’s recognition of the inherently empty nature of sense perceptions.


O Shariputra, — in this pure there is no form, sensation, thought, activity or consciousness; : No eye, ear,  nose, tongue, body,  mind; no form,  no tastes,  sound,  colour, touch or objects;

Hands Holding the Void
Hands Holding the Void

4 Replies to “Investigating Sense Perception: Hands Holding the Void”

  1. And, as Rev. Master Jiyu described, the Void is the ‘fullest emptiness’ containing everything. I love the face of this statue. It seems to me like the face of awakening. A lovely post, Anna. I’m looking forward to the next one!
  2. Thank you Anna. I did not know of Alberto Giacometti‘s work, what a beautiful way he expresses the emptiness of sense perceptions through this statue of hands holding an invisible reality of a void, I love this creation.
  3. Glad to hear you liked it Mo. The artist seem to have investigated deeply the idea of an inside self and an outside object, sense perceptions would have us believe they supposedly exist independently from one and other. On closer examination, he finds they are not-two: the reality of both is void of a separate, independent existence.

Leave a Reply