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Art

An Interactive Installation by Chiharu Shiota Celebrates the Universality of Numbers

October 3, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photographs courtesy of Muzeum Śląskie

Walking into the gallery space at Muzeum Śląskie that holds Chiharu Shiota’s installation Counting Memories, viewers are immersed in a sea of mismatched, old-fashioned wooden desks and chairs. From each desk, strands of black yarn rise up, tangling together in a dark cloud that consumes the entire upper portion of the high-ceilinged room. And within the cloud of yarn, white numbers are suspended like insects caught in an enormous spider web.

The spacing of the desks provides natural archways for visitors to pass under as they wander through the installation. At each of the nine desks, stacks of paper and pencils are available for viewers to respond to prompts such as “Which number has meaning to you and why?”, “Do numbers tell the truth?”, and  “How many memories do you have?” In a statement on the exhibition, Shiota explains:

Each number defines us individually but also connects us universally. Numbers comfort us, we share dates that are important to us, and they help us understand ourselves. Our history is collected through numbers. In this way, the intertwined string reflects our history, while the numbers, which are scattered sporadically like the stars above Katowitz, represent the most meaningful dates we know.

Shiota (previously) is a Japanese artist who lives and works in Berlin. She is renowned for her large-scale installations that incorporate familiar objects embedded within networks of suspended black, white, or red threads. In addition to Counting Memories, which is on view through April 26, 2020 in Katowice, Poland, Shiota’s solo exhibition The Soul Trembles at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo will be touring Asia until 2021. Follow along with Shiota’s new work and global travels on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 



Art Craft

A 20 Foot-Wide Tapestry by Vanessa Barragão Recreates the World in Textural Yarn

July 19, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

In celebration of a partnership between London’s Heathrow Airport and Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, fiber artist Vanessa Barragão (previously) was commissioned to create a massive botanical tapestry. Using a range of techniques including latch hooking, felt needling, carving, crochet, Barragão mapped out and built up a textural surface that emulates a map of the world.

Earth’s diverse climates and topography are represented in yarn: the deserts of Australia and Africa are conveyed in warm, low-pile colors, whereas Barragão represented the lush rainforests of South America and the high peaks of central Asia with shaggy deep greens and coiling crocheted ridges. The artist also incorporated native plants like China’s Gingko biloba, European Cypripedium calceolus (lady’s slipper), and the coffee of Africa.

Barragão spent 520 hours on the piece, which is completely handcrafted and spans nearly 20 feet wide. The work is on view at Heathrow Airport’s departure area, echoing the diverse and globe-trotting guests who cross its path. To see more from the Porto, Portgual-based artist, follow Barragão on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Vibrant Gradients of Suspended Yarn Reflect HOTTEA’S Personal Memories

November 21, 2018

Andrew LaSane

“Odd Numbers”

Eric Rieger, known by the moniker HOTTEA (previously), is a graffiti writer turned installation artist whose medium of choice is yarn. With it, he creates colorful large-scale works inspired by the moments, experiences, and people in his life. Whether flowing down from the ceiling of a gallery, or interlaced across the top of a pedestrian pathway, Rieger’s installations always hold a connection to his past and those who helped shape it.

“Color to me represents memories and experiences,” Rieger told Colossal, “so in a way it is always in play. It all depends on what really strikes me at the moment of the installation.” When asked about his process, the artist revealed that it’s largely inspiration and concept that dictates form. “I have always let life unravel itself naturally and that informs my artistic practice. I let the space and my thoughts guide me, and from there I create a design based on what I am going through at the time.”

“Migration”

Rieger credits his retirement from graffiti as the catalyst that got him to his current work. “Not being able to paint anymore inspired to me to create something totally opposite,” he said, adding that the two practices are very different. “As a graffiti writer I only painted at night, I kept it from my family and I only practiced my artist name. Doing work under HOTTEA, I create all of my work during the day to interact with people, I share it with my family and create installations inspired by them… everything that I was as a graffiti writer I didn’t want to be as HOTTEA.”

Rieger’s grandmother taught him to knit at a young age, which is part of the family influence expressed through his work and his identity as an artist. “The very name HOTTEA is derived from a memory I have of my mother ordering hot tea on the weekends at Baker Square growing up,” he explained. “The name reminded me of all the good times we had as a family there and when my parents were still together. HOTTEA brings me absolute pure joy – it’s something I will fight for till the very end.” (via My Modern Met)

“I Bet You Are Flying Inside”

“Bad Dreams”

“Hot Lunch”

“Passageway”

“Romance”

 

 



Art

A Student Lost in the Easy Freedom of Youth Depicted in a Cross-Stitch Mural by Aheneah

October 17, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Ana Martins, who works as Aheneah, recently reflected on the relaxed freedom of youth and captured that feeling in a cross-stitched intervention on a wall in Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal. The work is along a popular route to a local school, and is comprised of over 2,300 screws and nearly 760 yards of yarn.

The 22-year-old artist isn’t far from the experience of transitioning from student to adult. Martins shares with Colossal, “Every day, for many years, thousands of kids pass by this wall while going from home to school and from school to home. Most of the time just floating in their thoughts, lost in space, time and routine. Until their paths have to change directions. This happened to me a few years ago.”

She graduated in 2017 with a degree in graphic design, and in her professional work explores the connections between digital and analogue mediums, seeking to  “deconstruct, decontextualize and transform a traditional technique into a modern graphic, connecting cultures and generations.” You can see more from Martins on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 



Art Craft

Improvised Wall Tapestries Crafted with Vibrant Thread Combinations

August 2, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Spanish textile artist Judit Just Anteló moved to Asheville, North Carolina in 2013 to further develop her textile brand Jujujust. Although she studied fashion design, sculpture, and textile art in her hometown of Barcelona, she first learned the standards of weaving from her mother as a small child. Anteló applies these more traditional techniques to her current practice, updating the old methods with splashes of neon color and engaging combinations of vibrant threads.

“Most of my tapestries are just an involuntary result of an improvisation, a dance with colors and materials,” Anteló tells Colossal. “I like to let myself flow and see what it transforms into afterwards. Once I finish and approve one design, I keep the original in my studio to reproduce it in different color variations. Then I redo them and make them evolve and metamorphose into other creations.”

Anteló weaves her tapestries with rye knots created on a lap loom or eight-harness table loom, depending on which type of wall hanging she is attempting to make. You can find a variety of her works for sale on her Etsy shop, and take a peek into her studio on Instagram.

 

 



Art

A New Large-Scale Installation of Boats and Tangled Thread by Artist Chiharu Shiota

January 20, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

All images, “Where are we going?” Installation by Chiharu Shiota at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, copyright Gabriel de la Chapelle

The newest installation by Chiharu Shiota (previously here and here) is composed of nearly 300,000 yards of white yarn, woven to encapsulate the center, ground floor, and ten windows of Le Bon Marché. The exhibition, titled Where are we going?, will feature 150 boats within the French department store’s center, and the ground-floor exhibition will house a giant threaded wave that visitors are encouraged to walk through. Despite boats being a common theme in Shiota’s work, this installation will mark the first time she has used white yarn, previously creating installations with only black or red thread.

The title of the exhibition, Where are we going?, refers to the mysterious destinations that pinpoint each of our individual and collective lives. Therefore the boats in this installation represent vessels sailing towards unknown locations, the works expressing both a sense of poetry and a sense of unease over what is to come.

“I am struck by the multiplicity of interactions that we experience every day, by their connections with the past and the future,” said Shiota in an interview with Le Bon Marché. “The creation of this indecipherable mesh and its plasticity are a mystery, just like our brain, the universe, and of course, life. I have no answers, only questions. These questions are the foundations of my work.”

Last year Le Bon Marché organized a large exhibition of Ai WeiWei's work which featured a 65-foot bamboo and silk dragon in the store’s atrium. Shiota’s Where are we going? will be displayed at Le Bon Marché through February 18, 2017. (via Fubiz)

 

 



Art

Uncertain Journey: A Flotilla of Wireframe Boats Overflow With a Dense Canopy of Red Yarn

September 15, 2016

Christopher Jobson

chiharu-shiota-uncertain-journey-2016-installation-view-courtesy-the-artist-and-blainsouthern-photo-christian-glaeser

Chiharu Shiota, Uncertain Journey, 2016, Installation view, Courtesy the artist and Blain|Southern, All photos by Christian Glaeser.

For her latest installation at Blain|Southern in Berlin, artist Chiharu Shiota has constructed a twisted network of tangled red yarn that rises from a collection of skeletal boats. Titled Uncertain Journey, the artwork envelopes the viewer by creating a blood-red canopy reminiscent of a neural network that meanders in every direction. The piece is a continuation of Shiota’s work with yarn, most notably her 2015 installation The Key in the Hand for the 56th Venice Art Biennale. Uncertain Journey will be on view starting September 17 through November 12, 2016. (via Designboom)

chiharu-shiota-uncertain-journey-2016-installation-view-courtesy-the-artist-and-blainsouthern-photo-christian-glaeser

chiharu-shiota-uncertain-journey-2016-installation-view-courtesy-the-artist-and-blainsouthern-photo-christian-glaeser

chiharu-shiota-uncertain-journey-2016-installation-view-courtesy-the-artist-and-blainsouthern-photo-christian-glaeser

chiharu-shiota-uncertain-journey-2016-installation-view-courtesy-the-artist-and-blainsouthern-photo-christian-glaeser

 

 

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