The Japan Foundation announced artist Chiharu Shiota’s representation of Japan at the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia.

The Key in the Hand 2014 Photo:Sunhi Mang

The exhibition entitled “The Key in the Hand”  will be curated by Hitoshi Nakano, Curator of the Kanagawa Arts Foundation. 

Note of the artist:

“Using the second-floor gallery and the pilotis on the first floor of the pavilion, I will present a new installation titled “The Key in the Hand,” consisting of two boats, red yarn, and a huge number of keys.

Keys are familiar and very valuable things that protect important people and spaces in our lives. They also inspire us to open the door to unknown worlds. With these thoughts in mind, in this new installation I would like to use keys provided by the general public that are imbued with various recollections and memories that have accumulated over a long period of daily use. As I create the work in the space, the memories of everyone who provides me with their keys will overlap with my own memories for the first time. These overlapping memories will in turn combine with those of the people from all over the world who come to see the biennale, giving them a chance to communicate in a new way and better understand each other’s feelings.

I would be extremely grateful if you would consider giving me a key that you no longer need so that I can use it as part of this work. Then I hope that everyone will be inspired by the work, containing an accumulation of memories from all over the world, to reconsider what it means to be alive.”

Chiharu Shiota

Born in Osaka Prefecture in 1972. Lives in Berlin.
Confronting fundamental human concerns like life and death, Shiota explores questions such as “What does it mean to be alive?” and “What is existence?” in large-scale installations that make use of a variety of media including sculptural elements, photography, and video. In 2007, she was awarded the Ministry of Education in the Art Encouragement Prize for her solo exhibition “From in Silence,” held at Kanagawa Kenmin Hall. She has held solo shows at the Museum of Art, Kochi (2013), Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art (2012), Casa Asia (Spain, 2012), and the National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan (2008) among others. She has also participated in countless international exhibitions such as the Kyiv International Biennale of Contemporary Art (Ukraine), Art Setouchi (Japan), Aichi Triennale (Japan), Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (Russia), International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Seville (Spain), Gwangju Biennale (South Korea), and Yokohama Triennale (Japan). She was also named Japan Cultural Envoy by the Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2012 and visited Australia in this capacity.

Hitoshi Nakano

Curator, Kanagawa Arts Foundation.
Born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1968. Completed a master’s program in art history at the Graduate School of Letters, Keio University. Among the performing arts events he has organized are “Music / Poetry / Drama: The Tale of Ikutagawa – Based on the Noh Play Motomezuka” (New Contemporary Noh, Kanagawa Kenritsu Ongakudo, 2004), “Alma Mahler and of the Viennese Fin-de-Siècle Artists” (music / art, Kanagawa Kenritsu Ongakudo, 2006), and “John Cage Centenary: A Struggle Between Time and Space” (music / dance, Kanagawa Prefectural Gallery, 2011). In the field of contemporary art, he has curated the following exhibitions: “Shiota Chiharu: From In Silence” (2007), “Koganezawa Takehito: Between This and That” (2008), “Everyday Life / Another Space” (2009), “Asaba Katsumi: Harbor of Design” (2009, 2010), “Izumi Taro: Kneading” (2010), “Everyday Life / Hidden Reasons” (2011), “Sawa Hiraki: Whirl” (2012), all of which were held at Kanagawa Prefectural Gallery; and “Everyday Life / Off the Record” (Kanagawa Arts Theatre, 2014). He has also organized and produced collaborative projects using installations and performing arts. He is a part-time instructor at Tokai University.

Image: The Key in the Hand 2014. Photo:Sunhi Mang

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