In all the times we visited Berlin in the last couple of years, we never stopped by at Blain|Southern. Earlier this year, in K21 Düsseldorf, we saw Chiharu Shiota’s work for the first time. This October one of her installations opened in Berlin. It is called Uncertain Journey, and however related to the installation in K21 it is of a different impact alltogether.
Uncertain Journey centres around one installation that dominates the gallery’s vast central atrium. Seemingly growing from above, a dense web of red yarn reaches down towards the skeletal hulls of boats which rest on the gallery floor below. Speaking of the ideas she wanted to express with the boats Shiota says, ‘Our lives are like a journey without a destination, even though we don’t know where we are heading, we cannot stop. I wanted to emphasise this feeling of travelling with nowhere to go whilst alluding to a search for a sense of belonging.’
The colour of blood, the nexus of yarn is laden with symbolism, for the artist it echoes the interior of the body and the complex network of neural connections in the brain. The interwoven strands also express the connections between people, ‘the lines of yarn speak for me about everything that connects people, about changing human relationships…the installation is like one vast network, with the boats carrying us through on a journey of uncertainty and wonder.’
The colour of blood and the small ship wireframes leave room for a different interpretation, one that fits the exhibition title all too well and makes it an even more impressive installation than it is already, visually.
Uncertain Journey runs until 12 November 2016