Artwork Media

The Berlin based, Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota is best known for creating immersive thread installations that surround the public like a mental space. Shiota gained international fame, when she represented Japan in 2015 at the Venice Biennale with “The Key in the Hand”. The installation made of dangling 50,000 metal keys, collected from around the world, bound together in a colossal red web hovering above two wooden boat offered a collective metaphor for the distillation of individual experiences into collective memory. Shiota’s mixed media web like compositions explore the connections between past and present, object and memory. By incorporating everyday objects, such as clothing or furniture, containers of proud memories whether joyful and painful these banal yet intensely personal items symbolise the poetics of everyday life. The former student of Marina Abramovic, explores and confronts fundamental human concerns such as life death and relationships, by manifesting her emotions and interior battles, truths and memories that are at once personal and collective. Shiota’s oeuvre is very intimate yet also universal. “Second Skin”, 2014 is a great example of a two dimensional representation of Shiota’s artistic practice and reminiscent of several site specific installations created in 2012: “State of Being” at Casa Asia, Barcelona, Spain and Labyrinth of Memory at La Sucrière, Lyon, France, but also “Seven Dresses” in 2015 at Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken, Saarbrücken, Germany.

The dress for me is like a second skin. The body connects to our first skin. The second skin is the clothes. Sometimes clothes explain the owner, and there are a lot of memories inside a dress. I never use a new dress. For me, with a new dress, I cannot start anything, and I am not interested in using a new dress because there are no memories or stories inside it.

Chiharu Shiota