In 2015, in the Japan Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, the installation artist Chiharu Shiota stunned viewers into silence. Her work was called The Key In the Hand, and was executed with 180,000 metal keys that seemed to rain from a sky of woven red yarn. For Shiota the keys were symbolic of memory, and the red yarn suggested blood, the heart, a synaptic map. Now Shiota unveils I Hope, in which 10,000 handwritten letters (sent to the artist from around the world) are caught aswirl among vertical skeins of red yarn; skeletons of boats suggest a strange voyage. The work leads one to ask: Where am I going? And what will I take with me? —E.C.
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