published in October 2009 Flash Art
August 27-October 10, 2009
Born in Japan, and currently living and working in Berlin, Chiharu Shiota makes her debut in Zurich with her web-like and haunting installation, A Long Day. She transforms the gallery space, already small and intimate, into a confining yet poetic material depiction of her innermost fears, anxieties, and hopes. A lonely table and chair, surrounded by books and other evidence of a recent human presence, become the centerpiece in a thick, oppressive entanglement of black strings connecting it to thousands of points on the walls, ceiling and floor.
By creating a cocoon-like atmosphere and an abridged space, Shiota is able to communicate her existential angst, but also highlight the connection of the mind and spirit with the material world. The table and chair surrounded by books and paper, maybe representing the human impulse and desire to create, are connected to the empty space by thousands of black strings. They literally fill the void, pregnant with the artist’s ambitions, with a physical manifestation of creative intent. Walking into the gallery, one gets overwhelmed by the sensation of loneliness, alienation, and solitude, compounded by the confining planes created by the network. And yet, light penetrates through these spaces, also giving the impression of a lace-like and delicate fabrication, which can provide some solace and calm during the act of creating, and living.