Chiharu Shiota: Beyond Time at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The Japanese performance and installation artist, Chiharu Shiota, has a new installation on display at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Called Beyond Time, the piece is going to be located inside the sculpture park’s 18th Century chapel, and was influenced by the historical past of the space it inhabits.

Chiharu Shiota exhibits her work worldwide and while numerous pieces employ similar materials and techniques, they stay unique towards the circumstances, typically linking directly to the room that they consume. Color is significant and carries a great deal of symbolism for Shiota, and inspite of her Japanese heritage where the color white can reference mourning she uses it with positive intent; to represent ‘newness’ in death rather than an ending.

When Chiharu Shiota was nine years old, she was awoken by the sound of her neighbour’s house on fire. In the wreckage the following day, she saw their burnt out piano, a sight which both frightened and fascinated her. The silence it instilled remains with her to this day.

The piano is a ghostly presence in the work. Photocopied pages obtained from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s archives, of sheet music that had been one time played on it and programs from concerts given, are scattered in the white webbing, like a spectral counterpart to the bare, black branches and twigs of the adjoining winter treescape; call and response, echoing the rhythm of services past.

Shiota’s work frequently is focused on the themes of displacement, loss, and memory and has been acknowledged with the Philip Morris Art Award. In the past, her work has included large scale sculptures such as The Key in Hand, where 50,000 keys were suspended in a web of red yarn that hung from the ceiling of Venice Biennale; and Lost Words, which filled St. Nikolai Kirche – Berlin’s oldest church – with a maze of wool and torn out pages from the bible.

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is situated in the 500-acre, 18th Century Bretton Hall estate in West Yorkshire. It celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017 and is home to work created by some of the world’s most significant sculptors, including Henry Moore, Andy Goldsworthy, David Nash and James Turrell. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park has hosted temporary exhibitions by Ai Weiwei, KAWS and Fiona Banner.

Beyond Time will be on display in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park chapel from 30. March till 2. September 2018.