Monday, February 4, 2013

Chiharu Shiota

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Chiharu Shiota is a Japanese installation artist who seeks the theme of human existence through installation, performance, and the mix of the two. She is best known for creating monumental yet delicate, poetic environments. Central to the artist’s work are the themes of remembrance and oblivion, dreaming and sleeping, traces of the past and childhood, and dealing with anxieties.

Shiota explores these subjects in her installations made of black thread which often enclose various household and everyday, personal objects: a burnt-out piano, a wedding dress, a lady’s mackintosh, sometimes even the sleeping artist herself. Stretched in multi-layers in the gallery space, these disorienting cocoons of black yarn arose from the artist’s desire to ‘draw in the air’ and represent physical anxieties the artist experienced.

Out of her works, the "Lost in Lace" series is my favourite. The intertwined wool threads that are frequently used in her works signify the intricate web of dream and possibilities, and the void of human existence
intensifies the loneliness. In some of her installation, people are present, only to maximize the insignificance of existence covered and contorted with the threads. Her installations, in other words, create a new world separate from outside reality, and highlights vulnerability of a human being as well as indifference of the world toward individuals.

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