• Fiona Prior

Chiharu Shiota The Soul Trembles

I was fortunate to capture Chiharu Shiota’s ‘The Soul Trembles’ at the fabulous GOMA, Brisbane’s Cultural Centre.

“‘The Soul Trembles’ highlights twenty-five years of Chiharu Shiota’s artistic practice. She’s renowned internationally for her transformative, large-scale installations constructed from millions of fine threads that cluster in space or form complex webs that spill from wall to floor to ceiling. Shiota’s beautiful and disquieting works express the intangible: memories, dreams, anxiety and silence.


What jumped to my notice when I entered Chiharu Shiota’s ‘The Soul Trembles’ was that I was immediately triggered to ponder the cycles of life and death, the metaphysical strings and tensions that trace relationships both ancestral and social ̶ with all the blood that accompanies birth and violence plus the dirt and ashen colours of decay; the motherload of ties that bind us through this infinite universe … (*So many disconcerting thoughts emerged when contemplating the image of a naked body entwined in red liquid filled plastic tubing. Was it life support? Maybe strange external organs or even a tangled, madly long umbilical cord?)


For all the associations and thoughts this exhibition evokes it appears a sublimely tactile manifestation (though perversely, we do not touch it).


The room that houses a blackened burnt piano surrounded by burnt chairs and densely woven black threads was as evocative as it was beautiful. Ghostly.


Chiharu Shiota The Soul that Trembles

Until 3 October

Stanley Place, South Brisbane Queensland 4101, Australia

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