Chiharu Shiota: In the Hand


The body is a recurring feature of Chiharu Shiota’s work, recently in the form of life-sized cast bronze limbs. View In the Hand 2019 (Illustrated), an impossibly fragile-looking bloom of needles cradled in the palms of a child’s hands during ‘The Soul Trembles’ at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Brisbane until 3 October 2022. Through her threaded installations Shiota renders visible the invisible, however captured neatly between these palms, the inherent life of her spirit calls to mind the ‘trembling soul’, the exhibition’s subtitle.

DELVE DEEPER: The Soul Trembles in Brisbane

The mind and body become detached from each other, and I am no longer able to put a stop to these uncontrollable emotions. I lay my own body out in scattered pieces, and have a conversation with it in my mind. Somehow, I understand that this is what the act of connecting my body to these red threads is about. The act of expressing these emotions and giving them a form always also involves the soul being destroyed.

Chiharu Shiota

Chiharu Shiota, Japan/Germany b.1972 / In the Hand (and detail) 2017 in ‘Chiharu Shiota: The Soul Trembles’ / Bronze, brass, key, wire, lacquer / © Chiharu Shiota / Courtesy: Kenji Taki Gallery, Nagoya/Tokyo / Photographs: N Harth & C Callistermon © QAGOMA

GOMA is the exclusive Australian venue for ‘Chiharu Shiota: The Soul Trembles’ in The Fairfax Gallery (1.1), Gallery 1.2 and the Eric & Marion Taylor Gallery (1.3), Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Brisbane from 18 June – 3 October 2022.

Organised by the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, and curated by Mami Kataoka, Director, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo.