Where Are We Going? by Artist Chiharu Shiota
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_bdWoWjeVc “Life is a journey without a destination.” –Chiharu Shiota Have you ever imagined what it would feel like to walk through a maze of white yarn weaved together? Sounds almost like a dream, right? Not for Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota because most of her work consists of awe-inspiring, large-scale …
“Life is a journey without a destination.” –Chiharu Shiota
Have you ever imagined what it would feel like to walk through a maze of white yarn weaved together? Sounds almost like a dream, right? Not for Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota because most of her work consists of awe-inspiring, large-scale installations made of yarn. She was born in Osaka, Japan in 1972 and currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Where Are We Going?, located in Paris at Le Bon Marché, is her newest exhibition. Around 900 people attended the opening show.
This is the first time Shiota used white yarn instead of red or black. The symbolic white yarn honors the founder of the store, Aristide Boucicaut’s invented month of celebrating the color white. On Le Bon Marché’s website, Shiota commented that she was inspired by “an analogy between human life and the journey: each individual sails for an unknown destination, crossing a sea of experiences, emotions, encounters, and memories.”
This impressive installation was composed of almost 300,000 yards of woven white yarn. While I’m unable to make a quick stop in Paris to experience the installation in person, just by observing the photos, I get a sense of a long, winding journey with no beginnings or endings. I imagine walking through the makeshift waves on the ground floor makes the installation feel more intimate. I enjoy how she uses the boats as a metaphor for navigating life. Her piece makes me question how everything we come across in life influences each other. A memory from your childhood could suddenly resurface and inspire a new project or a stranger you bumped into at Trader Joe’s could be your partner for life. The purity of the white also adds a lightness to the thought-provoking installation; It reminds me to be open to the endless possibilities life could bring.