Japan - Biennale Arte 2015

CHIHARU SHIOTA    Japan Pavilion at 56th Venice Biennale  

the artist

Keys are familiar and very valuable things that protect important people and spaces in our lives. They also inspire us to open the door to unknown worlds. With these thoughts in mind, in this new installation I would like to use keys provided by the general public that are imbued with various recollections and memories that have accumulated over a long period of daily use. As I create the work in the space, the memories of everyone who provides me with their keys will overlap with my own memories for the first time. These overlapping memories will in turn combine with those of the people from all over the world who come to see the biennale, giving them a chance to communicate in a new way and better understand each other’s feelings.
In this exhibition, Shiota will integrate the gallery, located on what is essentially the second floor, and the outdoor pilotis on the first floor of the Japanese Pavilion. Upon entering the gallery, viewers will find a space filled with red yarn. Attached to the end of each piece of yarn, suspended from the ceiling, will be a key. In our daily lives, keys protect valuable things like our houses, assets, and personal safety, and we use them while embracing them in the warmth of our hands. By coming into contact with people’s warmth on a daily basis, the keys accumulate countless, multilayered memories that dwell within us. Then at a certain point we entrust the keys, packed with memories, to others who we trust to look after the things that are important to us. In this work, Shiota will incorporate keys as a medium that conveys our true feelings. Moreover, she will place two boats on the floor beneath the yarn and the hanging keys. The boats symbolize two hands catching a rain of memories (i.e., countless keys) pouring down from the ceiling. While struggling and working with the hands, the two boats will move forward through a huge sea of memory as they collect individual memories. Along with a large box located outside among the pilotis that will be used to display a photograph of a child holding a key in the palms of her hands, four monitors will show videos of small children talking about memories from before and immediately after they were born. By listening to them recounting memories from the time of their birth and looking at keys containing an accumulation of memories, we will experience two different phases of memory in the spaces. Prompted by the exhibition, we will discover memories contained within us, some of which will unfold and stay with us, and help us to form links with other people.

Chiharu Shiota with the curator Hitoshi Nakano

Credits: Story

Japan Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition– la Biennale di Venezia
Organizer : The Japan Foundation
Artist: Chiharu Shiota
Curator : Hitoshi Nakano (Curator, Kanagawa Arts Foundation)
Venue : The Japan Pavilion at the Giardini
Address: Padiglione Giapponese, Giardini della Biennale, Castello 1260, 30122 Venezia
Japan Pavilion opening 15:00− Thursday 7 May 2014
With special support of:Ishibashi Foundation
In cooperation with:Daiko Electric Co., Ltd.; Japan Lock Security; Silca S.p.A.
Supported by:Shiseido Co., Ltd.; Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo; Sumiko Ito
Japan Pavilion official website : http://2015.veneziabiennale-japanpavilion.jp/
All photos by Sunhi Mang, Courtesy of Chiharu Shiota

Credits: All media
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