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Japanese artist shows that shoes tell a story

Sep 2, 2014 Japan

Using four miles of red yarn, nearly 400 shoes and handwritten notes, Chiharu Shiota created her installation "Over the Continents." It officially opened at the Smithsonian's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery on the 30th of August

Japanese performance and installation artist Chiharu Shiota installs a monumental yet intimate work in the Sackler pavilion this summer. According to the museum's website, the artist: “haunted by the traces that the human body leaves behind” created this installation, which “amasses personal memories of lost individuals and past moments through an accumulation of discarded shoes".
 
Sneakers, sandals, boots with shafts so long they tumble over. Spiked heels, orthopedic work shoes, Trainers. Only the occasional wooden zori indicates their Japanese origin. Accompanying the shoes, there are notes affixed, all in Japanese characters, indicating their national origin and telling a story: “Together this shoe and I went to Australia” or “For over 15 years I used to walk my Labrador retriever. You soothed my mind. I still cry every day. I miss those days”

Shiota studied at Kyoto Seika University, Canberra School of Art, and Berlin University of the Arts with Marina Abramovic and Rebecca Horn. Her work has been presented at the Mattress Factory (Pittsburgh, 2013), Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (United Kingdom, 2012), National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (2007), Neue Nationalgalerie (Berlin, 2006), and MoMA PS1 (New York City, 2003), as well as the Biennials in Venice, Fukuoka, and Yokohama. Born in Osaka, Japan, in 1972, Shiota currently lives and works in Berlin.

The exhibition is currently open to the public and will continue until the 7th of June 2015.

For more information about the exhibition please refer to the museum’s website and to the page dedicated to the show.

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