After Nyne @ Venice Biennale: Enchantment at the Japanese Pavilion

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For their latest piece in our After Nyne @ Venice Biennale series, our representatives on the scene – Richard Scarry and Chippy Coates report from the Japanese Pavilion. 

Chiharu Shiota’s installation at the Japanese Pavilion in the Giardini was justifiably a major attraction.

Entering the pavilion we find her space filled with red yarn stretching across the room in a myriad of directions, entirely obscuring the height of the room.

Integrated into the yarn hang countless old keys and two large weathered wooden boats. Walking into the pavilion the immersive vibrant red structure cocoons the viewer in these familiar and modest materials.

The labour intensive construction has a simple and honest message, Chiharu states, “Keys connect us to each other, boats carry people and time”.

She is notable for her skilled approach
to the large installation format, which has become a special feature of the Biennale in recent years.

But Shiota’s choice of materials and the spatial structure of her installations maintains a sense of preeminent beauty without losing any freshness or power, quietly permeating our minds and bodies.

Shiota’s work, which transcends linguistic, cultural, and historical contexts as well as political and social circumstances, and deeply affects viewers from all over the world, has been presented and esteemed in approximately 200 exhibitions in Japan and other countries throughout the West, Middle East, Oceania, and Asia.

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