Lyrical Physicality

Lyrical Physicality

Chiharu Shiota’s (b. 1972) practice is both personal and universal, investigating themes of loss, nostalgia and life cycles through installation and performance. For example, The Key In The Hand (2015), is an extravagant entanglement of red thread and keys that represented Japan at La Biennale di Venezia in 2015. The practitioner’s oeuvre is simultaneously radical and elegiac, reflecting on the intertwined nature of human relationships.

Shiota’s most recent piece, Beyond Time, is a site-specific installation fabricated from 2000 balls of white wool. Residing in the 18th century Chapel at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, it emerges from the chancery, supported by a steel structure that alludes to a removed musical instrument. It meaningfully responds to the rich history of the building whilst referring to absent individual, cultural and architectural presences, activating the unique environment in spatially resonant ways. Shiota facilitates a poignant reflection upon the rich heritage of the structure, dating back to 1744, celebrating years of continued human interaction with the space.

The choice of white threads marks a departure from the artist’s iconic use of red and black, and makes visual associations with the spiritual realm. Beyond Time interlaces the physical and the conceptual, connecting to a new visual and ethereal plane. The artwork offers dialogues between memories and the lived human experience, creating an immersive and intimate encounter, transcending the corporeal world.

From 30 March. Find out more:

1. “The Key in the Hand”, 2015, The 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, Venice/Italy, photo by Sunhi Mang