“Where are we going?”

150 boats from around the world sail across the space at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche

by Valentina Ieva
9 Love 3601 Visits

Chiharu Shiota is best known for her unique site-specific web-weaving practice.
She represented Japan at the 56th Venice Biennale with her work “The Key in the Hand”. Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche has given her carte blanche to take over the whole store in January 2017.


One hundred and fifty boats from around the world, from all cultures and
of all sizes, sailed across the space at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche. 
On the ground floor, she created a large wave that visitors walked through, a spectacular mesh of white yarn called “Memory of the Ocean.”


Chiharu Shiota’s exhibition entitled “Where are we going?”offered an unprecedented experience in a department store. Its hopeful title invited us to sail towards “a fresh start” while being carried away by the boats which will take us through a journey of uncertainty and wonder. It is the first time that Shiota uses white yarn in an installation.

“Chiharu Shiota is a powerful artist. Her work, such as her installation
at the latest Venice Biennale, provides a hopeful and humane perspective on
the present and the future. Like every exhibition, this one represents a great
adventure for Le Bon Marché. Its ambition is to introduce customers to the work
of an artist so that they enjoy a special experience and walk away with
a piece of that magic” said Patrice Wagner, CEO of Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche.


The artist relates such color to snow, purity, “a new beginning,” but leaves the itinerary open: “Life is a journey without a destination.”

In her work, Chiharu Shiota explores the various ties that constitute us as human beings, as individuals. Memory and recollections, actions and interactions, thoughts and dreams create a unique, ephemeral web. Having studied in Japan and
then in Germany, Chiharu Shiota was first taught to paint and draw.
She uses yarn as a means to draw in three dimensions. Weaving involves the back and forth movements of a ball of yarn in the air until the artist achieves the desired density: it is a dance, a meditation, a performance.

Chiharu Shiota was born in 1972 in Osaka. She attended the University of Seika in Kyoto before studying abroad for one semester as an exchange student at the University of Canberra, Australia. She then moved to Germany, where she still lives today. From 1996 to 2003, she successively attended the Universities of the Arts in Hamburg, Braunschweig and Berlin.


Chiharu Shiota has been inspired by painting and drawing since her student years in Japan. She developed a meticulous practice based on weaving wool or cotton yarn, which she describes as drawing or painting in three dimensions. The web seizes or connects objects, often found objects. Beds, dresses, chairs, bags, shoes hang from threads or are caught in a mesh. Some works show a spectacular and always ephemeral accumulation of found objects.

Photo by Gabriel de la Chapelle



    • Valentina Ieva

      Valentina Ieva


      Bari / Italy

      Laureata in Ingegneria edile-architettura, giornalista per professione, web writer per diletto. Amante di architettura, design, fotografia e libri di carta. Dipendente dai social, Instagram e InstaStories su tutti. Affamata di vita, viaggi e storie da scoprire. Qualunque forma d'arte mi affascina da sempre e non posso pensare una vita senza: emozioni forti, immaginazione, buona musica, cucina pugliese, sole e gatti. Per dirla con le parole di Battiato, non potrei vivere senza: ‘un soffio al)