Following her eye-catching project at the Bon Marché Rive Gauche in Paris in early 2017, Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota is returning to both Galerie Daniel Templon‘s spaces with a spectacular site-specific installation and a series of new sculptures.
She has likened her artistic practice with yarn to that of a calligrapher. It’s a fitting parallel: Chiharu Shiota trained in painting before gravitating toward three-dimensionality. Having studied in Braunschweig, Germany, under Marina Abramović, she moved to Berlin in 1997 where she lives today. Her immersive environments and intricately wrought objects, enigmatic yet deeply physical, are the results of painstaking labor.
Her protean artistic practice explores the notions of the body, temporality, movement, memory and dreams. Her site-specific installations are often the theatre for performances designed by the artist to engage mentally and physically with viewers.
‘Destination 2017’, is a site-specific, room-engulfing labyrinth that has the sprawl of an uncontrollable fungus, a haywire cat’s cradle, or a webbed cathedral in red. Like her installation The Key in the Hand, 2015—made from second-hand keys ensnarled in massive amounts of scarlet string for the Japan pavilion at the Fifty-Sixth Venice Biennale—the work engages directly with the volume of its surroundings.
She explains: “I have been using boats since my exhibition at the Japan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015; I wanted to create one oversized boat representing the topics I have touched on in my most recent works. Ships carry people and time. They feature a defined direction, with no other choice but to keep moving forward. Though we may not know where we are heading, we can never stop. Life is a journey of uncertainty and wonder, and the boats symbolize the bearers of our dreams and hopes.”
A huge 5-metre boat, the frame of its hull resembling a human skeleton, floats in a sea of red yarn. Following on from this environment, the Skins painting are depicting ambiguous yet poetic representations of the body, its surface, its networks of connections.
A series of yarn sculptures envelops various objects, such as a chair and loose papers floating in space, creating an ensemble that raises the metaphysical questions that face us as humans, the difficulty we have understanding the world, and the complex relations that link us.
‘During humanity’s early years, death used to be connected to human life’s destination. It could be easier to find an answer to the question of our purpose in life. We were more aware of the creative process and the different steps along the way. Nowadays, we build and create on a massive scale, including things we don’t need, with no clear goal in sight, at a vertiginous speed…’
View the full set of pics here
To mark Le Havre’s 500-year celebration, from May 27 to October 8, 2017, Chiharu Shiota will be presenting Accumulation of Power, a site-specific installation at the famous St. Joseph Church in Le Havre designed by architect Auguste Perret.
Chiharu Shiota – Destination 2017
Until July 22
Galerie Daniel Templon
30 rue Beaubourg, Paris