“Weaving gave me the opportunity to expand and I feel as if I am drawing in the air on a limitless space.” – Shiota
Chiharu Shiota is a creator of new experiences, a weaver of new worlds. Her installations are these vast, room-spanning webs of threads or hoses. Entangled within the web’s are common everyday objects such as keys, windows, dresses, shoes, boats and suitcases. Through her works she links abstract networks (the entanglement) with concrete thing (the familiar).
“Memory and nostalgia. light and color. beauty and loss. through her use of intricately threaded installations, Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota intertwines all of these and more, imbuing both the site of her works — and the objects suspended within — with a powerful, dark and dreamlike potency.” – Designboom
Shiota was born in Osaka, Japan (1972), but lives and works in Berlin confronting fundamental human concerns such as life, death and relationships, through her provocative artwork. She likes to explore the human existence throughout various dimensions. She does so by creating an existence in the absence either in her large-scale thread installations that include a variety of common objects and external memorabilia or through her drawings, sculptures, photography and videos.
“I first visit the space I have been offered to do the installation in. the minute I walk in my body transcends another dimension and I can really picture my work within that room.” – Shiota
When you step into one of her installations it is like you’ve stepped through a portal into another dimension, one rampant with the haunted beauty of ghostly objects and half-forgotten narratives. She magically creates nostalgic universes simply with a piece of thread. Every project is a thought-provoking spatial poetry.
“Old objects have a history within them. what really attracts me to them is the fact that they have once belonged to a person who has their own story or attachment to that object. I can see the trace of a human life in that object, I can see the existence in the absence.” – Shiota
The reason she uses mostly black or red thread is…
“An accumulation of black thread forms a surface and I can then create unlimited spaces that gradually expand into a universe. when I can no longer trace a yarn installation or art object with my eye, it begins to feel complete. piling up layer after layer creates a deep black. I believe that the truth emerges from a work for the first time when you can no longer see it with the eye. I also use red thread because it symbolises the colour of blood.”
“It represents an invisible line within a rope. it is in the inside, you cannot see it but it is actually the thin red thread that holds everything together and connects it. the red colour of the thread symbolises the inside of the human body. these webbed threads draw the complex system of the human brain just as the neurons in it are trying to answer questions about our sense of belonging.”
Her exhibitions can be seen worldwide. In 2015, Shiota was selected to represent Japan at the 56th Venice Biennale. Back in 2007, she received the Art Encouragement Prize from the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. She has several upcoming shows. The schedule is posted on her website. Here are a few more of her previous projects:
Made from 2,000 balls of woolen thread. ‘beyond time’ is a sweeping network of white thread emerges from a sculptural steel piano, referencing a musical instrument no longer there. Her intended meaning behind this is to reference the yorkshire sculpture park chapel’s rich history and years of human presence, which dates back to 1744, and how it’s presence was an alluring element to the lives that revolved around it.
“The ethereal composition of thread and paper reaches into the upper corners of the architecture of the building, activating the chapel’s unique history.” – Designboom
“Visitors navigate the expanse through carefully articulated pathways, discovering the worn objects as they make their way through the web. the objects in the exhibition retain the personal histories of their owners, symbolically linking the present to the past. narratives are woven together in an immersive landscape that seeks to convey shiota’s belief about people removed from their home countries, such as herself: they ‘live with their bodies as their only real possession.’” – Designboom
The Key In The Hand
Accumulation Of Power
Where Are We Going?