Chiharu Shiota

Haus am Lützowplatz

Chiharu Shiota, born in Osaka in 1972, settled in Germany in 1996, initially to study with Marina Abramović; she has lived in Berlin since 1997. Her path of development is paradigmatic for its time: Her studio rooms in Mitte were in a building formerly occupied by squatters; later she participated in exhibitions that focused on her Japanese heritage, underscoring Berlin’s new multiculturalism and openness in its dealings with foreigners. Shiota soon found herself growing uneasy about this reference to alterity, though. “Often, when there’s a show here, people who come to look think, ‘Ah, a Japanese artist!’ and that makes me . . . smaller,” Shiota remarked in an interview. “It’s true that I have a Japanese name, I’m called Chiharu. They can see it next to the work. But that’s just a detail. And then you’re invited somewhere because you’re from Japan,” she concluded skeptically.

The works

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