Chiharu Shiota

Chiharu Shiota’s “First House”

Turkish translation published on theMagger on June 2015

Photo: Zorlu Center PSM

If you have visited Zorlu Performing Arts Center this fall, there is no way you have not seen that attractive, brilliant red house in the foyer. Exhibited until October 8th, “The First House” is an installation by the Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota. I  asked Shiota – who is also representing her country in Venice Biennale this year – about “The First House”.

_How did “The First House” evolve? What was the first idea that you came up with once you contacted Zorlu PSM?

Once I knew I was going to work with Zorlu PSM I thought of creating something that people would experience first hand, not just visually but physically. In that sense, people can walk through the House and discover the meaning of the artwork on the spot.

_How do you think the audience would best experience The First House – physically and spiritually?

I believe people will best experience The First House by walking through it. As they do so, it will be like walking through a human body as it is referred to as the House of Self. The red color of The First House and the yarn refer to life as well in sense of blood running in our veins. The viewer will have the chance to enter the The First House and go through its meaning of life and to think of its various purposes in relation to oneself placed as human being in the world.

_What do you think someone’s ‘first house’ is; the house they are born into or the house they first move into, away from their family? / Where and how was your ‘first house’?

The First House is actually an expression of new beginnings. Here, the new beginnings, in general, are centered in the individual, not just where we are born or where we first move. It is the permanent journey of discovery that defines a person. I cannot remember my first house. All I know is it was in Japan.

_The First House will not be there physically after a few months. What do you think of installations as an art form, after they are no longer physically available?

It won’t be there physically but it will remain in the person’s memory.

_Before working on The First House, how much did you know about Istanbul?

When I visited Istanbul, I first saw the center of Istanbul and then I walked around more to discover the city and I went to Hagia Sophia which is very impressive. I had never seen Christian images in a mosque.

_How do you think would Istanbul (or you experiencing this city) be an inspiration for your further work?

After the visit to Istanbul, I began thinking about what I could do. I usually work with black thread, but this time I wanted to use red. People told me the red color had a special meaning to the Turkish citizens and also to link it to the Turkish flag which has red too.

_What do you think the strongest connection between The Key in the Hand and The First House is?

I would say the first connection is that I use red thread, but there is also a similarity because people can walk into the installation and experience it first hand.

_What do you think about the works in the Venice Biennale this year? What are the must-see’s, for someone who loves your work and technique?

In general, I think the works this year are very good. They are strong and I can remember many of them, so that is a good sign. Being an artist myself, I am very impressed. There is just one must-see from my work, and that is the installation itself because once you come into the Japan Pavilion you bump into it.

[TR] “Chiharu Shiota ve “İlk Ev”i” | theMagger‘da okuyun.