Chiharu Shiota - New Now Hong Kong Friday, March 29, 2024 | Phillips
  • “Keys are familiar and very valuable things that protect important people and spaces in our lives. They also inspire us to open the door to unknown worlds.”   
    — Chiharu Shiota


    A powerful exploration into the themes of memory space, Chiharu Shiota's State of Being (Keys) stems from the artist’s most iconic series of work that utilises her signature medium of entangled threads in red. Within the web-like structure, one can observe keys entangled in the threads, partially visible and scattered throughout the piece. These keys, a recurring element in Shiota's work, may represent memories, opportunities, locked or hidden aspects of life, or access to something personal and significant.



    Detail of the present lot


    Also featuring keys as the central object, one of Shiota’s most notable projects is The Key in the Hand, which she presented at the Japanese Pavilion during the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. In this installation, keys were also suspended and immobilised by red threads, suggesting the intricacy of the interconnectedness in our society.




     Chiharu Shiota speaking about her installation, The Key in the Hand, made for the 2015 Venice Biennale Japanese Pavilion


    The enveloping nature of these thread installations suggests a form of entrapment or limitation, reflecting on the constraints that memories and the past can impose on individuals. Simultaneously, the interconnectedness of the threads emphasises the idea that all beings are part of a larger, interconnected whole, suggesting a sense of unity and belonging.



    “I imagine the threads as delineating either a personal or a universalised space. With its associations to blood, suggests lineage, the physiological way in which we trace our ancestry and origins, and by extension all the interconnections within society. Normally these relationships are invisible to the human eye, but once we try to visualise them with red thread, we can observe the multitude of relationships as a whole.”
    — Chiharu Shiota


    Chiharu Shiota is a Japanese installation artist known for her intricate and large-scale works that often incorporate woven threads, household objects, and sculptural elements to explore themes of memory, dreams, anxiety, and the complex relationships between past and present. Born in Osaka, Japan, in 1972, Shiota has established herself as a significant figure in contemporary art, currently living and working in Berlin, Germany. Her current solo exhibition A Tide of Emotions is on view at Vincom Center for Contemporary Art (VCCA) until March 30th, 2024.


    • Provenance

      Galerie Templon, Paris
      Acquired from the above by the present owner


State of Being (Keys)

signed with the artist's initials 'CS' reverse lower right
acrylic glass, red thread and keys
80.3 x 45 x 45.6 cm. (31 5/8 x 17 3/4 x 17 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2015, this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed and issued by the artist.

Full Cataloguing

HK$500,000 - 700,000 

Sold for HK$571,500

Contact Specialist

Angela Tian
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
20th Century & Contemporary Art, Hong Kong
+852 2318 2058

New Now

Hong Kong Auction 29 March 2024