The Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota has created an intricate installation in the Smithsonian Institution’s Arthur M Sackler Gallery.
Shiota dwells on the significance we ascribe to the objects in our lives, giving literal form to the threads of association that so often attach to things. In previous installations, these ostensibly fragile threads have threatened to choke up entire rooms, cobweb-like in the way they cling to everyday objects. For Over the Continents, she has collected dozens of discarded single shoes and scrap paper notes: orphan objects, displaced and defunct, whose personal histories are no longer fully accessible. The red strings tied to them recede into corner of the gallery, to vanishing point. It looks as though the original owners might tug them back to their rightful place at any moment.
Shiota, who will represent Japan in the 56th Venice Biennale next year, installed the work publicly from 18–21 August, and the work remains in place until next June. Click on any image to open the slideshow.
‘Perspectives: Chiharu Shiota’ is at the Arthur M Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Insitution, Washington, until 7 June 2015.