Counting memories. Chiharu Shiota


With this installation, I want to visualize the universe within this space. A massive cloud of intertwined lines fills the room; it floats above a collection of nine tables and chairs. The network holds hundreds of white numbers like stars in the night sky. The room is transformed into an organic space, our inner universe connected with the outside. The interconnected string displays our connected history. 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. Placed at the centre of this universe is an existence that cannot be seen with our naked eye; our past, present and future selves sit at the table reflecting on the countless stars in the universe, which is ever expanding.

Especially in Katowice with its complicated history, I find it important to display an installation that connects people and shows how we are all part of the same organism. The visitors are invited to sit at the tables and write their thoughts on sheets of paper that will be piled onto the tables. They can either describe their emotions or answer specified questions, such as Which number has meaning to you and why? What is the most important number? What number defines you? Do numbers tell us who we are? Do numbers tell the truth? How many memories do you have? How many stars exist in the universe? When do numbers stop making sense? Why do memories and numbers have a connection? What is our common denominator as people? The purpose of art is to affect the viewer emotionally. I want the viewer to reflect on their inner self, on their life, past, present and future and see beyond the object that is displayed in front of them.

– Chiharu Shiota


Chiharu Shiota Born in Osaka, 1972. Lives and works in Berlin. Confronting fundamental concerns such as life, death and relationships, Shiota explores human existence throughout various dimensions by creating an existence in the absence either in her large-scale thread installations that include a variety of common objects and external memorabilia or through her drawings, sculptures, photography and videos. Her installations are exhibited across the world, including her solo exhibition “The Soul Trembles” at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2019), which will be touring through Asia until 2021. Other institutions which have presented her work include Gropius Bau, Berlin (2019); Art Gallery of South Australia (2018); Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK (2018); Power Station of Art, Shanghai (2017) and K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2015) among others. She has also participated in numerous international exhibitions such as Oku-Noto International Art Festival (2017), Sydney Biennale (2016) and Yokohama Triennale (2001). In 2015, Shiota was selected to represent Japan at the 56th Venice Biennale.


Counting memories. Chiharu Shiota

7.09.2019 – 31.10.2020

Muzeum Śląskie, Katowice / Single Artwork Gallery

T. Dobrowolskiego 1 St.

Curator: Łukasz Adamski


  • Galeria jednego dzieła
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  • Type of exhibition: Temporary
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