Installation Artist Chiharu Shiota’s Tangled Web of Keys at the 2015 Venice Art Biennale!

The Key in the Hand by artist Chiharu Shiota. Photo by Sunhi Mang.

The Key in the Hand by artist Chiharu Shiota. Photo by Sunhi Mang.

It’s been a while since I’ve come across an installation art piece that’s moved me to posting. But, Artist Chiharu Shiota‘s “The Key In The Hand,” is just such an installation artwork. I thank writer Kate Sierzputowski and the website Colossal for introducing me to this piece. Here is an excerpt from her post…

The Key in the Hand by artist Chiharu Shiota. Photo by Sunhi Mang.

The Key in the Hand by artist Chiharu Shiota. Photo by Sunhi Mang.

The Key in the Hand by artist Chiharu Shiota. Photo by Sunhi Mang.

The Key in the Hand by artist Chiharu Shiota. Photo by Sunhi Mang.

“The 2015 Venice Art Biennale is home to Chiharu Shiota‘s ‘The Key in the Hand,’ an elaborate entanglement of red wool and keys that dangle above two ancient looking boats. Living within the biennale’s Japan pavilion, the installation nearly blocks out the ceiling with its mass of crossing strings and includes a collection of more than 50,000 keys.

The piece points towards memory through its composition of materials as the keys were collected from thousands of people around the world. Each key holds memories of the individual through their 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,” said Shiota. “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.’” –by Kate Sierzputowski on May 8, 2015, on Colossal.com

The Key in the Hand by artist Chiharu Shiota. Photo by Sunhi Mang.

The Key in the Hand by artist Chiharu Shiota. Photo by Sunhi Mang.

The Key in the Hand by artist Chiharu Shiota. Photo by Sunhi Mang.

The Key in the Hand by artist Chiharu Shiota. Photo by Sunhi Mang.

I certainly wish I could see this installation in person. It looks to be both overwhelming, and humbling at the same time. The idea of 50, 000 keys, each hanging there with the ghost of a story haunting them. As if they wish they could tell their stories, but just can’t. If anyone reading this post has, indeed, seen this art installation in person, please leave a comment about the experience. I’d love to hear an in-person retelling of the experience.

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the quality of the photos. Sunhi Mang, your photos of this installation are fabulous!

Art the World!
Savage1

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