Chiharu Shiota

Living Inside

Like many artists confronted to the global lockdown, Chiharu Shiota has found her thoughts turning to domestic spaces and the family cocoon. Living Inside features a group of new works, both intimate and delicate, exploring the notion of home and the fragmentation of our daily reality.

Exhibition view, Living Inside, TEMPLON Brussels, 2021
Exhibition view, Living Inside, TEMPLON Brussels, 2021

Celebrated around the world for her spectacular installations made of woven thread, the Japanese artist suddenly had to call a halt to her constant travels, staying put for the first time in over 15 years. In isolation in Berlin where she has been living for many years, she has experienced this momentary stop as an echo to many of her familiar themes: immobility, silence, seclusion and the uncertainty of destiny.

An artist who has long been haunted by the question of the invisible ties between beings, illness and transcendence, she reveals in this new exhibition a novel approach to sculpture. Using doll’s houses, miniature furniture and window frames, her recent work plays on the notion of scale, recollection and our secret bond with everyday objects.



In response, a series of new drawings created in the solitude of the deserted studio, stage relationships between enigmatic figures. Trapped in accumulations of waves or spirals, spectral characters seem interlinked by red or black threads, a metaphor for the ties between spirits.

Chiharu Shiota manipulates these miniature worlds, seemingly frozen in time, both reassuring and unsettling, to invite us to meditate on this last strange year. As she explains: “We are connected, since we are all in the same situation. Everyone is sitting at home looking at their furniture and asking questions about the outside world, which right now has been reduced to a mere memory.” She takes a bittersweet approach as she examines the codes of a living space that has been drastically curtailed but is already, maybe, brimming over with possibilities for inventing the new.

State of Being.


The artist

Born in 1972 in the Japanese city of Osaka, Chiharu Shiota 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 at its center the body. Her protean artistic approach plays with the notions of temporality, 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 P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2003), 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, she is exhibiting at the Museum of Kyoto; and in 2019 she exhibited at Mori Art Museum in Tokyo throught a exhibition illuminating the artist's entire works.

View more