Chiharu Shiota, 2012. Black thread, antique mirror, and glass, installation view.

Chiharu Shiota

New York

Haunch of Venison

Chiharu Shiota’s sculptures and installations use basic materials—glass windows, black thread, found objects such as a violin or a child’s dress—in highly innovative ways. Born in Japan, now based in Berlin, Shiota makes use of an international language of contemporary art, one which serves to poetically enclose information about objects whose history can be felt if not touched. A lyricist of dark song, she shows us what can be done with the simplest of means—for example, a distressed violin suspended within a web of black thread. Her work embodies an evocative attitude rather than a formalist aesthetic, leaving us to consider the implications of a double message that combines high-flown spirituality with the dread that accompanies doom. The juxtaposition of ideas and feelings may be eccentric, but the results are remarkable for their emotional tenacity, making the 40-year-old artist someone to watch as she enacts—Shiota is also a performance artist— her terms of presence and absence. Other Side (2012), a very large installation of variable dimensions, consists entirely of glass windows collected from abandoned buildings and other disused sites in East Berlin. …see the entire review in the print version of January/February’s Sculpture magazine.