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.
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.
Born in Osaka, Japan, in 1972, Chiharu Shiota has been living and working in Berlin since 1999. After a foundation degree in painting at Seika University in Kyoto, she turned to performance and pursued her artistic studies in Berlin. Chiharu Shiota is an internationally renowned artist whose work has been exhibited for twenty years. She represented Japan at the 2015 Venice Biennale.
Her work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions including: in 2017, Where are we going?, Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, Paris (France); in 2018, Butterfly Dream, Kyoto Art for Tomorrow, Museum of Kyoto (Japan), The Distance, Gothenburg Museum of Art, Gothenburg (Sweden), Absence embodied, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (Australia); in 2019, And Berlin Will Always Need You, Gropius Bau, Berlin (Germany), The Soul Trembles, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (Japan), and in 2020, Push the Limits, Fondazione Merz, Turin (Italy), The Dark Side – Chi ha paura del buio?, Museo Musja, Rome (Italy), Counting Memories, Silesian Muzeum in Katowice (Poland), and her work has also being shown at the 13th Gwangju Biennale in South Korea in 2021.
Current exhibitions include: Connected to Life, Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Karlsruhe (Germany), until 11 July 2021; permanent installations The Web of Time, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington (New Zealand) and Memory of Water, Towada Art Center, Aomori (Japan); Direction of Consciousness, Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire (France), until 1 November 2021, The Soul Trembles, Tapei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan, until 29 August 2021, STILL ALIVE, Werke aus der Shenkung Sammlung Hoffmann at Albertinum, Dresden (Germany) until 4 July 2021.
Upcoming exhibition include The Soul Trembles, Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art, South Brisbane (Australia) and The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara, Jakarta (Indonesia).
Chiharu Shiota has been represented by Galerie Templon since 2011.