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Chiharu Shiota: The Web of Time

The piece from the Japanese artist leads visitors through winding tunnels into a two-storey high artwork.
By Stephen Heard
December 13, 2020
By Stephen Heard
December 13, 2020

It's been home to an enormous forest of transparent plastic trees and thousands of colourful confetti strands suspended mid-flight. Soon, Te Papa's Toi Art will welcome a labyrinth of black wool that visitors can climb through, too.

Chiharu Shiota's The Web of Time is the fourth site-responsive commission for Te Papa's Threshold gallery, following Michael Parakowhai's Détour, Nike Savvas' Finale: Bouquet, and Lemi Ponifaso's MAU: House of Night and Day.

The award-winning Japanese artist is renowned for her intricate 'drawings in space' and epic string-heavy installations that take up entire rooms. The Web of Time is a work made from 3750 balls of black wool that leads visitors through winding tunnels into a two-storey high artwork.

Within the work 1000 numbers are intertwined in thread, suspended in space. Shiota believes numbers act as a universal language and a shared concept of time, with the ability to define, as well as connect people.

The immersive installation draws on ideas of the cosmos, human existence and the potential for the future. It will arrive on level 4 and level 5 of Toi Art on 12 December, 2020 and will run through until late 2021. This will be the first time Chiharu Shiota's work has been exhibited in New Zealand.

Image: Jack Fisher.

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