studio am

design musings, articles and projects by An Michiels

art/chiharu shiota/haunch of venison

If you happen to hang out in central London one of these days, pop by the Haunch of Venison gallery and check out Chiharu Shiota‘s intriguing immersive installations.  They were a nice surprise afer visiting the Van Gogh exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts around the corner.   The lack of blockbuster queues at the Haunch of Venison and the possibility to get close to the work without having tons of audioguide-clad zombies breathing down your neck were a real treat!

No queues for Shiota’s show yet, but her CV is impressive enough anyway, with recent shows in the Hayward Gallery in London (part of the Walking in My Mind exhibition), the Moskou Biennale and recent shows in the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa among others.  The current show exists of two site specific installations and a room with a series of her smaller ‘boxed’ thread works.  ‘One Place’ was made from 400 windows from demolition sites in East Berlin and is a metaphor for an opening and a barrier at the same time.  They give evidence of a claustrophobic experience that East Berliners endured through the Wall for almost 30 years.  The second installation ‘During Sleep’ is a black string installation that has a bed trapped in its impenetrable nets.  It plays with dreams and anxiety and has an eerie atmosphere that works very well when you’re the only visitor in the room.  The show is on until the 27th of March and is worth the detour.

Chiharu Shiota One Place

Chiharu Shiota During Sleep

Chiharu Shiota’s site specific installations ‘One Place’ and ‘During Sleep’ at the Haunch of Venison.
Photos: An Michiels

And if you did manage to bag tickets for Vincent in the Royal Academy, just go for it and brave the crowds!   You will get rewarded with the chance to witness his intelligence and drive, look beyond the cliché of the one-eared madman and get an insight in his broad range of influences – from Japanese block prints to Dickens’ literature.

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