For this exhibition, Shiota has incorporated antique wooden chairs that show evidence of their previous use. Red yarn connects one chair to another and also to the surfaces of the gallery itself, filling the space and tying individual stories and memories together, like neurons mapping memories in the brain. Just as memories and life experiences stay with each individual throughout their lives, the objects in the exhibition retain the personal histories of their owners and symbolically link present and past.
Shiota describes her installations as "drawings in space." The seemingly endless webs of red or black yarn have ensconced shoes, keys, beds occupied by sleepers, charred pianos and more. For the artist, red yarn connotes the body and human interaction. Performance is a longstanding part of Shiota’s practice, and even when she or other performers aren’t present in her installations, corporeal physicality remains an integral component of her work. Viewers navigate the space through pathways she determines, encountering found objects along the way. Shiota’s incorporation of these abandoned objects illustrates her belief that people removed from their home countries, such as herself, "live with their bodies as their only real possession."
This exhibition is part of deFINE ART 2017, held Feb. 21–24 at SCAD locations in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia, and Hong Kong. DeFINE ART is an annual program of exhibitions, lectures, performances and public events that highlights emerging and established artists and visionaries.