Chiharu Shiota

Biography of Chiharu Shiota

Born in Osaka (1972), Chiharu Shiota creates sculptures, installations and paintings that intertwine spools of thread to form intricate matrixes of material. Consistently using the colours of red and black, Shiota sees black as representing the universe or the night sky. Red is connected to people, recalling blood and the body which form an internal solar system. Therefore, Shiota’s work is elemental in conjuring a mood of cellular human life and its symbiotic relationship to the cosmos as a whole. 


Throughout Shiota’s oeuvre, boats have been used as poetic forms that have numerous significations including migration and unchartered journeys. Similarly, keys have featured as a symbol of human life, a large circular head attached to a smaller body. At the 56th Venice Biennale (2015), the artist represented the Japanese Pavilion with her work “The Key in the Hand”, two wooden frames connected by complex red webs of thread and keys—a swirling biosphere of cotton and metal.


Chiharu Shiota has exhibited her work at major institutions internationally including Kunstsammlung NRW, Düsseldorf, DE; Ferenczy Múzeumi Centrum, Szentendre, HU; Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken, Saarbrücken, DE; Fundació Sorigué, Lleida, ES; SESC, São Paulo, BR; Eacc Espai D'Art Contemporani de Castelló, Castelló, ES; Smithsonian Institution Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington D.C., US; and New Art Gallery Walsall, UK.

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