Art, News I 16.09.16 I by

Artist Chiharu Shiota unleashes a giant ball of yarn inside Berlin’s Blain|Southern

Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota has woven a giant web inside Berlin’s Blain|Southern gallery for her installation, Uncertain Journey.

Elaborate networks of blood-red thread crawl out of the gallery’s ceiling, spreading down towards the metal skeletons of boats that sit on the floor of its main atrium.

Chiharu Shiota, Uncertain Journey, 2016. Installation view, courtesy of the artist and Blain|Southern. Photography: Christian Glaeser
Chiharu Shiota, Uncertain Journey, 2016. Installation view, courtesy of the artist and Blain|Southern. Photography: Christian Glaeser

Shiota utilises the gallery’s space as her canvas. Seemingly ‘painting’ in mid-air, she weaves yarn into dense webs that mirror complex memory systems of the brain and explore ideas about life as an unknowable journey, without a destination.

‘When people come in at first, they’ll look around and see an infinite line,’ says Shiota. ‘Just as the universe is infinite, there appears to be no end to this line of yarn.’

Shiota, who moved to Berlin in the mid-1990s to study under Marina Abramović, has exhibited her work worldwide and often begins each large-scale installation by surveying the space for an exhibition. ‘At first, I see the space and then the ideas come,’ she says.

Visitors can also experience the installation – which opens during Berlin Art Week and runs until 12 November – from another perspective, getting a bird’s eye view of it from the gallery’s second floor mezzanine.

Read next: Artist Anne Imhof fills Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof with fog

Charmaine Li is an arts and technology writer based in Berlin.

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