Following Chiharu Shiota’s much celebrated exhibition The Key in the Hand at the Japanese Pavilion earlier this year at the Venice Biennale, Patricia Low Contemporary and curator Olivier Varenne are proud to present Rain of Memories in Gstaad. This exhibition is held to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the gallery, which opened in 2005 with an exhibition of Katherina Sieverding.
Alongside her sculptures of objects enclosed in grid like structures, embroidered paintings and works on paper, Shiota has created a new on-site installation. Rain of Memories is a web of memories complexly weaved with red thread and intersected with hanging keys. The keys themselves, collected from people all around the world, are the objects through which we gain access into every day moments, where all kinds of experiences, and even secrets, have been passed from person to person. The installation is haunting yet delicate and poetic; as we enter, we are faced with an inescapable mass of emotion, pouring down from the ceiling in raining red thread.
Shiota is quickly becoming well known for her ability to immerse her audience within frozen moments of Time. For the artist, weaving the thread is a form of meditation and is symbolic of her own mind set. When troubled, the thread tangles more irregularly; it becomes hard to establish where memories begin and end, but when they are balanced, the weavings become more regular and follow more distinct patterns. It is impossible not to feel the overwhelming presence of the artist within her work, and it is to the credit of Shiota’s sensibility that each and every viewer can experience this so personally.
The networks inherent to Shiota’s installations also take the form of more personal and smaller scaled sculptures retaining objects as if in mid-air, or weave themselves as a red thread throughout her paintings and drawings. In the intricacy of these intimate works, one can still be moved by her powerful translation of complex moments in life and death.
Chiharu Shiota’s Museum exhibitions include MoMA PS1, New York (USA, 2003), National Museum of Art, Osaka (Japan, 2008), La Maison Rouge, Paris (France, 2011), Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art, Kagawa (Japan, 2012), Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney, (Australia, 2013), The Museum of Art, Kochi (Japan, 2013), Freer and Sackler Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. (USA, 2014) and Kunstsammlung Düsseldorf, K21, Düsseldorf (Germany, 2015), to mention a few.
She has participated in 56th Biennale di Venezia, Italy, 2015, Aichi Triennale, Japan, 2010, Gwangju Biennale, South Korea, 2006, Yokohama Triennale, Japan, 2001 among others. Shiota’s Oeuvre includes also stage design; she has co-operated with several theaters and operas such as Theater Kiel (Tristan und Isolde, 2014), at different places for the play Matsukaze, directed by Sasha Waltz (recently in Berlin).
Her works are included in the following collections: The Leopold Private Collection, Vienna (Austria), 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (Japan), The Hoffmann Collection, Berlin (Germany), The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (Japan).