State of Being Anna Schwartz Gallery presents a new exhibition by Chiharu Shiota

State of Being Anna Schwartz Gallery presents a new exhibition by Chiharu Shiota

Anna Schwartz, Founder of Anna Schwartz Gallery, muses that there has been a thread connecting her and the gallery with Chiharu Shiota since they first met at Detached in 2011 in Tasmania at her installation In Silence, incorporating a burnt piano into a black web. In 2017, they again met in Venice when Shiota represented Japan with The Key in the Hand. Anna Schwartz Gallery is honoured to present State of Being: new works and the continuation of the connection. State of Being will exhibit concurrently with Shiota's The Soul Trembles – curated by Mami Kataoka, Director of Mori Art Museum, Tokyo – at QAGOMA. A significant moment in Shiota's twenty-five-year artistic practice, each of these Australian exhibitions are new touch points in Shiota's devotion to exploring the tangle of memory and dreams and their transcendence into our waking lives.

State of Being will present works that span Shiota's practice. Sculptural works, canvases, and a large-scale installation will envelope the gallery space, creating the absorbing effect that has come to be definitive of Shiota's practice.

Artist CHIHARU SHIOTA said: "I believe that we are all connected. Were you able to see the invisible, all human connection is one. Thread from each heart is expressed as words linking us. In the flea market I found old love letters and diaries and although I never met the writer, I felt connected. 

At the centre of this new created space is a physical presence.

I have faced death more than once, and I believed if death ever took my body, I would no longer exist. But now I believe the mind continues and my mind and my body act separately; they are connected, but my mind can exist without my body. My brain functions separately to my body. The scientist Benjamin Libet acknowledged that the body reacts before the mind can create a thought. This controversial theory explains how I feel. I am not only my body, but also my consciousness; we move through the unconscious we react before we think."


CHIHARU SHIOTA: State of Being

25 JUNE – 30 JULY 2022





ANNA SCHWARTZ GALLERY is a contemporary art gallery in Australia which has been owned and operated by founder Anna Schwartz since 1986 and is directed by Tania Doropoulos. Established in Melbourne, Anna Schwartz Gallery has identified and cultivated the careers of visionary artists from Australia and internationally. The gallery represents over thirty multi-generational artists and works on individual projects with artists and curators globally. Anna Schwartz Gallery distinguishes itself for its uncompromising conceptual position and contribution to culture spanning visual art, music and publishing, under the imprint SCHWARTZCITY. 


Over the course of the past three decades, Chi­haru Shio­ta has built a stel­lar inter­na­tion­al career, exhibit­ing wide­ly in major muse­ums across Europe, Asia and Australia.Chi­haru Shio­ta is best known for intri­cate and large-scale instal­la­tions that explore com­plex rela­tion­ships between body and mind. She maps elu­sive sen­sa­tions of emo­tion and mem­o­ry by weav­ing tan­gi­ble objects – cloth­ing, musi­cal instru­ments, fur­ni­ture, let­ters, and even an incin­er­at­ed piano – into exten­sive, tan­gled webs cre­at­ed with hun­dreds of metres of del­i­cate thread. By cap­tur­ing objects in this way, the artist cre­ates atmos­pher­ic, oth­er­world­ly envi­ron­ments that inspire reflec­tion on things past and med­i­ta­tion on future dreams.

Shio­ta has stud­ied in sev­er­al coun­tries includ­ing at Can­ber­ra School of Art, Aus­tralian Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty in 1994, Kyoto Sei­ka Uni­ver­si­ty, Japan in 1996, Hochschule für Bildende Kün­ste, Braun­schweig, Ger­many in 1999 and at Uni­ver­sität der Kün­ste, Berlin in 2003.

The artist rep­re­sent­ed Japan at the 56th Venice Bien­nale in 2015, pre­sent­ing The Key in the Hand in the Japan­ese Pavil­ion, curat­ed by Hitoshi Nakano. Exhi­bi­tions include: Sev­en Dress­es, Stadtgal­erie, Saar­brück­en (2015); Le Fil Rouge, Espace cul­turel Louis Vuit­ton, Paris (2015); Inhab­it­ing the World, Busan Bien­nale (2014); Progress and Hygiene, Zacheta Nation­al Gallery of Art, War­saw (2014); Over the Con­ti­nents, Smith­son­ian Insti­tu­tion, Wash­ing­ton D.C. (2014); Home of Memo­ry, La Mai­son Rouge, Paris (2011); Inner Voic­es, 21st Cen­tu­ry Muse­um of Con­tem­po­rary Art, Kanaza­wa (2011); Walk­ing in My Mind, Hay­ward Gallery, Lon­don (2009); Breath of Spir­it, The Nation­al Muse­um of Art, Osa­ka (2008).

Pub­lic and pri­vate col­lec­tions include the 21st Cen­tu­ry Muse­um of Con­tem­po­rary Art, Kanaza­wa; Art Gallery of South Aus­tralia, Ade­laide; Detached, Hobart; Muse­um für Neue Kun­st Freiburg, Ger­many; The Nation­al Muse­um of Mod­ern Art, Tokyo; The Nation­al Muse­um of Art, Osa­ka; Ömer Koc, Istan­bul; Cen­tre PasquArt, Switzerland.