Chi­haru Shio­ta sus­pends a fleet of woven white boats inside Paris’ Le Bön Marché

Nina Azzarello
Design Boom, 24 January 2017

inside the his­toric le bon marché depart­ment store in paris, japan­ese artist chi­haru shio­ta has sus­pend­ed 150 sculp­tur­al boats from the ceil­ing, fig­u­ra­tive­ly sail­ing’ across the space. drawn from typolo­gies found across a range of cul­tures and com­mu­ni­ties, the hol­lowed out met­al hulls — seem­ing­ly etched with a pen­cil — hang from the store’s cen­tral glass roof, sur­round­ing vis­i­tors in an all-white abyss.

as part of the exhi­bi­tion where are we going?’, shio­ta has sculpt­ed a mon­u­men­tal mesh wave titled mem­o­ry of the ocean’ on the ground floor that vis­i­tors can expe­ri­ence by walk­ing through as if they were under the sea. final­ly, the building’s façade dis­plays 10 woven vit­rines, each occu­pied by a com­plex labyrinth of inter­wo­ven white mate­r­i­al and sculp­tur­al ele­ments that hint at the instal­la­tion host­ed inside.

chi­haru shio­ta — where are we going video cour­tesy of le bon marché rive gauche chi­haru shio­ta offers an immer­sive and mul­ti-sen­so­ry expe­ri­ence inside le bon marché. the exhi­bi­tion invites vis­i­tors to sail towards a fresh start’ as they pon­der the ori­gin and des­ti­na­tion of the boats, tak­ing them on a jour­ney of uncer­tain­ty and won­der. the instal­la­tion marks the first time shio­ta has used white yarn in an art­work — mov­ing away from her typ­i­cal use of red. the event con­tin­ues le bon marché’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with artists, fol­low­ing ai weiwei’s instal­la­tion of bam­boo and paper kite crea­tures last year (see more about the exhi­bi­tion on design­boom here). chiharu shiota le bon marche the instal­la­tion com­pris­es a series of boats sus­pend­ed from the shop­ping center’s ceil­ing image by gabriel de la chapelle shiota’s work por­trays boats through her own dis­tinct lens. when asked what ships’ mean to her, she com­ments:when I was a child, dur­ing vaca­tion, my fam­i­ly would take the fer­ry to go from osa­ka to kochi. we would spend the night there. the next day, it was like we were in a new world: the world of vaca­tion and sea. her approach is quite var­ied as she is inter­est­ed in their mul­ti­ple shapes, their mixed cul­tur­al his­to­ry and their uncer­tain des­ti­na­tions. as well as their abil­i­ty to trav­el, to con­nect one point in the world to anoth­er and to car­ry peo­ple along with their imaginations. chiharu shiota le bon marche vis­i­tors are tak­en through a jour­ney of uncer­tain­ty and won­der image by gabriel de la chapelle chi­haru shio­ta is a pow­er­ful artist,’ patrice wag­n­er, CEO of le bon marché rive gauche says. her work, such as her instal­la­tion at the lat­est venice bien­nale, pro­vides a hope­ful and humane per­spec­tive on the present and the future. like every exhi­bi­tion, this one rep­re­sents a great adven­ture for le bon marché. its ambi­tion is to intro­duce cus­tomers to the work of an artist so that they enjoy a spe­cial expe­ri­ence and walk away with a piece of that magic.’ chiharu shiota le bon marche the sus­pend­ed white mesh con­veys the themes of nature, snow and puri­ty image by gabriel de la chapelle chiharu shiota le bon marche the exhi­bi­tion marks the first time chi­haru shio­ta has used white yarn image by gabriel de la chapelle chiharu shiota le bon marche a large-woven canopy called mem­o­ries of the ocean’ mim­ics the feel­ing of being under­wa­ter image by gabriel de la chapelle chiharu shiota le bon marche the exhi­bi­tion invites vis­i­tors to sail towards a fresh start’ image by gabriel de la chapelle chiharu shiota le bon marche by night, the sus­pend­ed boats are illu­mi­nat­ed above vis­i­tors image by say who/​romain mayoussier chiharu-shiota-le-bon-marche-paris-designboom-07 with the instal­la­tion, the artist aims to high­light the idea of hope’ image by say who/​romain mayoussier chiharu-shiota-le-bon-marche-paris-designboom-06 shio­ta explores the var­i­ous ties that con­nect us as human beings image by say who/​romain mayoussier chiharu-shiota-le-bon-marche-paris-designboom-02 as part of the exhi­bi­tion, shio­ta has woven ten win­dow dis­plays on site chiharu-shiota-le-bon-marche-paris-designboom-03 the building’s façade dis­plays 10 woven vitrines chiharu-shiota-le-bon-marche-paris-designboom-04 each dis­play is occu­pied by a com­plex labyrinth of inter­wo­ven white material chiharu-shiota-le-bon-marche-paris-designboom-05 sculp­tur­al ele­ments hint at the instal­la­tion host­ed inside the store 
Arti­cle link: here
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