Arab News Japan
In 2018, Japanese performance and installation artist Chiharu Shiota was specially commissioned for the opening of one of the Gulf region’s first contemporary art museums, the Jameel Arts Centre in the United Emirates.
Her installation “Departure” was influenced by the UAE’s status as a “place of trade and confluence,” and included abra boats, a traditional wooden boat used in the UAE to transport people across bodies of water, and copious amounts of yarn to represent the cultural site, Dubai creek.
“Departure was one of the most popular installations at the centre, and due to popular demand we decided to actually extend its run,” said a representative at Art Jameel.
“The Installation was immersive, so first and foremost people really responded to being in the space and being surrounded by these thousands of red webs structures,” said Art Jameel.
This work was part of Jameel Art Centre’s ongoing series, Artist’s Rooms, a project that presents long-term solo exhibitions by artists from South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Shiota’s exhibition was displayed from November 2018 to August 2019.
Chiharu Shiota is an artist that specializes in installation pieces reflective of her interest in human concerns like life, death and relationships. She typically employs convoluted blood red, black or white yarn and mundane, everyday objects.
Everyday objects are meaningful to Shiota. “I believe the objects that surround us accumulate our existence,” she said in an interview with Wallpaper magazine.
“All my work is inspired by my life or by a personal emotion. I try to expand this emotion into something universal to connect with others,” said Shiota.
Shiota’s work earned her the 2008 Art Encouragement Prize from the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
This was only one accolade of many. Her intricate piece The Key in the Hand– an explosive red web of 50,000 metal keys, collected from around the world, hanging above two wooden boats—was the piece she displayed when representing Japan at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Her work was also featured in a solo exhibition in Mori Art Museum, Tokyo and, Gropius Bau, Berlin in 2019. More renowned work includes those displayed at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK in 2018.
While the artist was born in Osaka in 1972, she now lives and works in Berlin.
“When I was living in Japan, I did not think about my cultural identity. But after moving to Germany, I met many people from different countries, and I began to reflect on my own heritage.” She said
Aside from cultural influences, Shiota admits to her work being shaped by the current state of the world.
“My drawings are inspired by life, and this situation has made me very creative. I always travel to install my exhibitions, but since this is not possible at the moment and will become more difficult in future, I have to rethink my work” said Shiota.
It isn’t certain whether Shiota will be making a comeback to the UAE, but the door is completely shut.
Chiharu and her team were an absolute pleasure to work with. We have no immediate plans to work with her but hope to do so again in the future. She is an artist we immensely admire and respect,” said an Art Jameel representative.
Updates on Shiota’s work can be found on her Instagram account, where she posts her latest pieces.
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#repost @wonjungkong ・・・ . 오늘의 하이라이트는 @chiharushiota . . ———— The installation “Living Inside” is being featured at the group exhibition OH! MY CITY at Paradise Art Space, in Incheon, South Korea. This installation presents human life. Observing a city from above is like looking at an entire universe. Every building looks like a dollhouse but they are all connected by life. This view reminds me of all these small objects I have always been collecting, such as old scales, stained dolls, miniature furniture, stones, nuts and small bottles. These things have lived with me in my studio. The exhibition will be open until October 04, 2020 For more information please visit https://www.p-city.com/front/artSpace/overview #groupexhibition #installation #paradisecity #art #artist #contemoraryart #installationartist #oh!mycity #paradiseartspace #groupshow #livinginside #digitalopening #exhibition #southkorea #online #works #dollfurniture #path #eternity #opening #June #untiloctober