photo: Sunhi MANG

A Room of Memory

ArtistSHIOTA Chiharu
Material/ Techniquewindow
Size/ Durationdimensions variable
Copyright Notice© SHIOTA Chiharu
Year of acquisition/ donation2008
DescriptionBorn in Osaka, Japan in 1972. Lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

After she went to study at Hamburg University in 1996, Shiota Chiharu has been working based in Germany. She studied under Marina ABRAMOVIĆ and Rebecca HORN. She makes installations, drawings and performances to express her overflowing emotions and feelings that she is unable to wipe out. Her work using windows was presented at the 1st Seville Biennale in 2004. Since then, though it is shown in different forms such as labyrinth and house, the work has been telling us, those who live now, of the deceased and the past through accumulated individual windows with different memories.

This is a work consisting entirely of old windows from buildings being demolished or renovated in what used to be East Berlin. The windows rise like great wings sprouting from either side of a large column. Berlin’s history is entirely unique in the 20th century, and these windows, which were left behind in the city, are stained with its atmosphere and full of the memories of the people whose lives they once enclosed. The peeling paint and the remnants of broken glass panes have been left to weather with the passing of time. No two windows are the same. Positioned in the middle of the work is an antique chair labeled ‘his chair.’ The ‘his’ is used to refer to someone unidentified who was there before. In other words, something that existed in the past is highlighted by an absence in the present.