Uncertain Journey: Chiharu Shiota at Blain Southern, Berlin

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Uncertain Journey is the latest latest installation by the artist Chiharu Shiota at Blain|Southern in Berlin, her adopted home town.

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Born in Osaka, Japan, in 1972, Chiharu Shiota has been living and working in Berlin since 1996. For her first exhibition with Blain|Southern, Chiharu Shiota has created a new site-specific monumental installation in the Berlin gallery, eight years after she last exhibited in her home city. Shiota is primarily known for her immersive installations, such as The Key in the Hand, with which she represented Japan at the Venice Biennale in 2015. Weaving intricate networks of yarn, the artist creates new visual planes as if she were painting in mid-air.

Uncertain Journey centres around one installation that dominates the gallery’s vast central atrium. The 7,5m high installation fills the entire space and can be viewed from the inside, or looking down from a mezzanine above. “As people come in at first they look around and then they see an infinite line. Just as the universe is infinite, there appears to be no end to this line of yarn” Shiota explains.

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“Our lives are like a journey without a destination, even though we don’t know where we are heading, we cannot stop. I wanted to emphasise this feeling of travelling with nowhere to go whilst alluding to a search for a sense of belonging.”

The colour of blood, the nexus of yarn is laden with symbolism. For the artist it echoes the interior of the body and the complex network of neural connections in the brain. The interwoven strands also express the connections between people. “The lines of yarn speak for me about everything that connects people, about changing human relationships… The installation is like one vast network, with the boats carrying us through on a journey of uncertainty and wonder.”

If you are heading to Berlin, you are still in time to visit the installation until November 12th 2016.

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All photos by Nook Twelve, info courtesy of Blain|Southern

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