Hannah Ottman

Look, but Don’t Touch

Look, but Don’t Touch, is a visual exploration of the human condition. Focusing on feelings of desire, intimacy and sexuality, this project examines the existence of these sensations through the human figure itself.

The title of the project is inspired by signage found in front of art in museums. The sign you see placed between you and the subject generally asks that visitors “look, but don’t touch” the art on display.

The restriction of the act of touch in the current pandemic—one that we have learnt to live with—has made it difficult to experience any kind of physical contact and with that, human desire, intimacy, and sexuality.

Overall, this visual exploration of the human condition is captured through a thematic perspective—a photographic series showcasing the frustration and isolation that comes from being unable to physically act upon said human nature.

Hannah Ottman is a Canadian-Chinese visual artist, currently based in Toronto. Working primarily with lens-based media, she attempts to communicate the themes of identity and community, oftentimes experimenting with archives and the human figure. Her hopes in the future are to create meaningful work and to grow as an artist