Spinning meaningful yarns

January 1st, 2017 / By: / Projects

Artist Chiharu Shiota uses thread as a mode for formal and conceptual expression, enabling her to address the corporeal ideas that are central to her art. Photo: Christian Glaeser.
Artist Chiharu Shiota uses thread as a mode for formal and conceptual expression, enabling her to address the corporeal ideas that are central to her art. Photo: Christian Glaeser.

Upon a first glance, a visitor to artist Chiharu Shiota’s art installation at Berlin’s Blain|Southern gallery might have thought the artist painted her dramatic concept in mid-air. Named “Uncertain Journey,” the piece is actually a dense web of red yarn.

Known for installations that immerse gallery goers in a world of color and texture, Berlin-based Shiota explores space, objects, material and scale in works where networks of yarn, thread and occasionally found objects connect within frames reminiscent of scaled-down buildings or other items.

For this installation, which ran from Sept. 17 to Nov. 12, 2016, the web of yarn seemed to grow from above, filling the gallery’s large atrium and reaching down toward the skeletal hulls of boats set on the gallery floor. The yarn is purposely red, the color of blood, alluding to the interior of the body and the complex network of neural connections of the brain. The boat carcasses raise existential questions of fate and belonging, evoking ideas that can be as complex as the tangled yarn itself.

Visitors’ perspectives of “Uncertain Journey” change depending on where they are in the gallery. The second floor mezzanine offers a bird’s eye view. For more, visit www. blainsouthern.com.

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