Analysis Of Chiharu Shiota 's Piece On The Continent Depicts Shoes From All Over The World
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Chiharu Shiota’s piece entitled Over the Continent depicts shoes from all over the world. This piece was made in 2015 utilizing both 4 miles of yarn and 400 shoes. This installation was shown at the Arthur M Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C, though she has presented this same installation piece in different configurations at various venues all over the world.
There are many aspects to this piece. The red yarn is hung from a “single, high point of the room’s corner to reach for the ground, where each is knotted around a shoe that points away from the walls (Voon).” To add a personal touch to this piece, all the notes that are attached to each shoe are handwritten. One of the notes read that “at the time when [she] took [her] father to the hospital he was wearing these shoes. After going to the hospital he lost consciousness. He did not wake up (Kutner)." These shoes are donated and collected by Shiota with the notes attached describing past experiences and lost loved ones. Though this is a sample piece of her bigger collection in Japan, this piece presented at the Sackler Gallery still reaches the same connection and intensity to her audience. The notes are brief, “but the sentences carry weight so that history as much as shoe seems to anchor each red strand (Voon).” This piece brings about depression, loneliness, and reminiscent about the history of others’ past life and also self-reflecting on one’s own life.