Chiharu Shiota created spaces that are bereft of any human presence, of any physical presence but where threads of memory, symbols of time are woven into a web that links inert objects to the past, to moments, to presences that now only exist in memory.
She has created a special place for herself in the world of contemporary art, thanks to her spectacular artworks, combining performances, body art and installations, instantly recognisable by their use of woven thread. Chiharu Shiota’s work casts an overwhelming vision of the world that is most definitely unforgettable. Her chosen theme has always been memory.
“There’s a moment when the fine lines come together and grow. And then suddenly, we can no longer follow the lines. When each thread is no longer visible, it seems like the truth hidden inside finally becomes visible.”
The network of graphics that connect the different elements convey the power of inter-personal links, the inevitable dependence of the subject on its roots, all the relations that are jeopardised by our individualist society in contemporary Western culture.
“The threads are woven into each other. They are intertwined. They separate each other. They unravel. They act like a mirror for the feelings and pain that is felt throughout our lives. Cutting, weaving and tying the yarn, one thread after another encourages me to create a whole new world inside the boundaries of the sculpture’s structure”, explains the artist who is continually exploring the notions of time, movement, memory and dreams.
Direction of Consciousness
Chiharu Shiota was born in Osaka, Japan in 1972 and has been living and working in Berlin since 1997.
Using woven yarn, the artist combines performance, body art and installations in a process that places the body at its centre. Her protean artistic approach plays with the notions of time, movement and dreams, and demands a dual engagement from the viewer, both physical and emotional.
In recent years, Chiharu Shiota has been widely exhibited around the world, including at the New Museum of Jakarta and the SCAD Museum of Art, USA (2017), the K21 Kunstsammlung NRW, Düsseldorf (2014), the Smithsonian, Washington DC (2014) and Japan’s Kochi Museum of Art (2013).
In 2015 Chiharu Shiota represented Japan at the Venice Biennale with her installation The Key in the Hand. In 2018, her work was on display at the Museum of Kyoto; and in 2019 she exhibited at Mori Art Museum in Tokyo through an exhibition illuminating the artist’s entire works.