The Art Gallery of South Australia has been transformed with a trilogy of offerings by internationally acclaimed contemporary Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota which includes the artist’s first major solo survey exhibition to be shown in an Australian public gallery, a site-specific installation featuring the artist’s iconic string practice, and a new public work made for the façade of the Gallery.
Chiharu Shiota has had a long-standing relationship with Australia dating back to a career-defining experience as an exchange student at the Canberra School of Art in 1994. It was here in Australia that her signature ‘thread installations’were developed, signalling the beginning of her now iconic and bold visual vocabulary that includes drawing, performance and installation.
It is this transformative time in Australia that is the starting point for Embodied – the first major solo survey exhibition of Shiota’s work in Australia, co-curated by Leigh Robb, Curator of Contemporary Art and Russell Kelty, Associate Curator of Asian Art.
Spanning 25 years, this exhibition explores Shiota’s early performances captured through photography, drawing and the moving image, as well as new sculptures and works on paper. Accompanying the exhibition will be a major commissioned acquisition for the Art Gallery’s collection featuring Shiota’s string practice.
Titled, Absence Embodied, this immersive work will incorporate 180 kilometres of red wool and feature sculptural elements. A unique drawing in space, the work will be the only large-scale permanent installation of Shiota’s work in a public institution in the Southern Hemisphere and will be realised in the Gallery’s historic Melrose Wing.
Her immersive installations draw on personal experiences, emotions and memories to create universally resonant works. In the artist’s own words “an installation is about the moment. It has the power to evoke the meaning of life and death for the audience.”
A new site-specific public work will also be on view at the Art Gallery. Three of Shiota’s iconic dresses, each measuring over six metres in length, will emblazon the façade of the North Terrace entrance. Titled Internal, this work marks the first time the artist has used the colour red in her dress series.
Chiharu Shiota was born in 1972 in Osaka, Japan and lives and works in Berlin. Over the course of the past three decades she has built an international career, exhibiting widely in major museums across Europe, Asia and Australia. In 2015 she represented Japan at the 56th Venice Biennale with The Key in the Hand, 2015.
Her long-standing relationship with Australia includes major projects: In Silence at DETACHED, Hobart in 2011, and Conscious Sleep at Cockatoo Island,for the 20th Biennale of Sydney in 2016.
Chiharu Shiota: Embodied
Art Gallery of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide
Exhibition continues to 28 October 2018
For more information, visit: www.artgallery.sa.gov.au for details.
Image: Chiharu Shiota – photo by Sunhi Mang (courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery)