Hands are a constant area of fascination for Nikolai. He is interested in their various postures and symbolic character, communicating their aura and expressiveness through his sculptures. Nikolai's use of hand gesture imagery can be traced to his travels throughout Asia. Inspired by the Terracotta Army in Xi'An, China, he created a group of Abhaya hand sculptures in 2010, in effect building an army of hands. The design of this hand is based on an ancient Tibetan Buddha hand modeled after the Abhaya mudra, a symbol of fearlessness and the displacement of anxiety. Nikolai links the mudra, or spiritual gesture of the hand, back to the spirit of the Terracotta Army. Nikolai's work situates the beauty and aura of ancient cultures within the speed and flash of the contemporary rat race, drawing our attention to the distinctions between the two.