Chiharu Shiota, 'The Key in the Hand' (2015) Venice Biennale, Japan Pavilion. Photo: Sunhi Mang

Chiharu Shiota, ‘The Key in the Hand’ (2015) Venice Biennale, Japan Pavilion. Photo: Sunhi Mang

↑ For the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, the Berlin-based Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota created an installation for the Japan Pavilion titled “The Key in the Hand”. The room was full of red thread that rained hundreds of old keys down onto wooden boats. A little over a year later, for the Kanagawa Arts Theater in Yokohama, Shiota was invited to extend this metaphor as an environment to be used for performance. The artist’s response was the labyrinthine “The Locked Room” (2016). ↓
Similar to the artwork realised in Venice, “The Locked Room” wove a web of red string fastened to used keys throughout the performance arena. Unlike the previous work, the rustic gondolas were absent and replaced with five upright wooden doors that divided the room into smaller spaces. Speaking of the transformative process of installation, Akira Shirai, the artistic director of KAAT notes:
“I believe that Chiharu Shiota’s works are always created twice, once when the work is spun and gradually appears in a space where the was nothing, and the other when that work disappears from that space”.
Having since disappeared from the Kanagawa Arts Theater, “The Locked Room” was an absorbing supplement to an artwork celebrated in Venice, in Yokohama.
Chiharu Shiota, 'The Locked Room' (2016). Kanagawa Arts Theater. Photo: Nick West

Chiharu Shiota, ‘The Locked Room’ (2016). Kanagawa Arts Theater. Photo: Nick West

Chiharu Shiota, 'The Locked Room' (2016). Kanagawa Arts Theater. Photo: Nick West

Chiharu Shiota, ‘The Locked Room’ (2016). Kanagawa Arts Theater. Photo: Nick West

Chiharu Shiota, 'The Locked Room' (2016). Kanagawa Arts Theater. Photo: Nick West

Chiharu Shiota, ‘The Locked Room’ (2016). Kanagawa Arts Theater. Photo: Nick West

Chiharu Shiota, 'The Locked Room' (2016). Kanagawa Arts Theater. Photo: Nick West

Chiharu Shiota, ‘The Locked Room’ (2016). Kanagawa Arts Theater. Photo: Nick West

Chiharu Shiota, 'The Locked Room' (2016). Kanagawa Arts Theater. Photo: Nick West

Chiharu Shiota, ‘The Locked Room’ (2016). Kanagawa Arts Theater. Photo: Nick West

Chiharu Shiota was born in Osaka (1972). The artist lives and works in Berlin.
www.chiharu-shiota.com/en/
© Nick West 2016