Keys and Memories

about Chiharu Shiota

The rooms of Chiharu Shiota are always full of everyday clues like beds, windows, and shoes, in order to explore the relationship between living and dying and to access memories found within these objects.

As in the case of her The Key in the Hand, at the Venice Biennale 2015, where the piece points towards memory through its composition of materials, each key — collected from thousands of people around the world — holds memories of the individual through its previous daily use, and now hangs amongst the many other memory-tied talismans above the heads of passing visitors.

“Keys are familiar and very valuable things that protect important people and spaces in our lives. They also inspire us to open the door to unknown worlds… I would like to use keys provided by the general public that are imbued with various recollections and memories that have accumulated over a long period of daily use”.

Born in 1972 in Osaka, Japan, Chiharu lives and works in Berlin, Germany.


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