Hope is a word that we have all become more familiar with—or perhaps forgotten—in the last year or so. The world has experienced innumerable complications due to the
“During this COVID-19 pandemic, it is difficult to think about hope, but imagination for the future is very important for human beings,” Shiota tells My Modern Met. “If you have no inspiration, there is no future. I gave people red paper so they could write their hopes for the future, and then I could fill the gallery with this hope… My theme is existence in the absence. This means, no one is there, but I feel like someone is present. So, when someone dies, I can feel their existence. I want to create this feeling with my installation… I am weaving the memory into existence.”
The threads hung in the nave of St. Agnes, a former church that is now the exhibition space for the König Galerie. “I thought this place was good for hope,” Shiota explains. “Normally people pray for their future in the church, and this place has a lot of hope—it was a good place to do the installation.” Though the exhibition itself was not open to the public for a period due to local restrictions, that didn’t stop people from interacting with it. Musicians, dancers, and other performers who are close to the artist were invited to come and perform in the empty installation, and their presentations were streamed online to allow viewers to participate and connect virtually.
The exhibition has now ended, but the moving performance series is still available for viewing on
Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota suspended 10,000 letters of hope from the air in her immersive thread installation titled I hope…
The artist asked people from around the world to send in their hopes for the future in order to inspire connection and hope during the COVID-19 pandemic.