No Kusama Tickets? Chiharu Shiota's Exhibition Is Just As Instagrammable

Chiharu Shiota, Blain|Southern ★★★★☆

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No Kusama Tickets? Chiharu Shiota's Exhibition Is Just As Instagrammable Chiharu Shiota, Blain|Southern 4
The main installation looks amazing. Photo: Peter Mallet.

If all the blood vessels of a single person had been pulled out and stretched away from the body, we imagine it would look something like this.

The stunning explosive installation — originating from a single pair of feet — is as beautiful as it is macabre. Visitors can walk among the hanging threads (and feel them glide across their skin) until lost inside the artist's body — those feet are casts of her feet, after all.

The writer of this piece getting hands on with the installation.

This is the standout installation in this exhibition of Chiharu Shiota's work at Blain|Southern Gallery. It's also the art exhibition you're likely to see on Instagram feeds over the next month or so (well, along with this).  On our visit, plenty of people were waiting for it to empty so they could be photographed within it.

There's more to the work than just beauty though. The interconnected web of threads resembles both our blood vessels and the neural network within our brains. For us it captures the beauty, complexity and fragility of the human body.

The rather creepy-looking wedding dress concealed within a black mesh. Photo: Peter Mallett.

We could spend an hour in here, but there's more to this show than just this one work. The smaller pieces all follow a similar theme of threads and intricacy. A white dress is suspended within a mesh of black thread, looking like something out of a horror movie, while nearby works use white thread to create an ethereal feeling. A change in colour can change the tone of these works entirely, as our association with each colour takes us down our own psychological rabbit hole.

All eyes may be on another Japanese artist across town, but unlike the Kusama exhibition this one isn't ticketed, and is just as eye-opening.

Chiharu Shiota: Me Somewhere Else is on at Blain|Southern, Hanover Square until 19 January 2019. Entrance is free. Visitors to the gallery should also check out the separate, subtler show of Jonas Burgert's drawings downstairs.

Last Updated 05 December 2018