Chiharu Shiota brings her spectacular two-storey high installation to Aotearoa for the first time

Award-winning Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota will unveil a fully immersive installation in Te Papa’s Toi Art this summer.

The Web of Time opens on 12 December 2020 and will run until late 2021.

Renowned for her otherworldly and intricate ‘drawings in space’, the thread installation made from 3,750 balls of black wool will lead visitors through winding tunnels into a two-storey high artwork built in Level 4 and Level 5 of Toi Art.

Te Papa’s Head of Art Charlotte Davy is delighted that Chiharu Shiota’s work is being exhibited at Te Papa, and for the first time in New Zealand.

“Shiota is a world-class artist known for transforming spaces with her wondrous, thought-provoking installations,” Ms Davy said.

“We are thrilled to exhibit The Web of Time in Te Papa’s Toi Art, and give New Zealanders the opportunity to experience this remarkable work.”

The Web of Time draws on ideas of the cosmos, human existence, and the potential for the future.

Within this work 1,000 numbers are intertwined in thread, suspended in space. Shiota believes numbers act as a universal language and a shared concept of time, with the ability to define, as well as connect people.

The Web of Time is the fourth site-responsive commission for Te Papa’s Threshold gallery, following Michael Parakowhai’s Détour (2018), Nike Savvas’ Finale: Bouquet (2019-2020), and Lemi Ponifaso’s MAU: House of Night and Day (2020).


Chiharu Shiota, 2020. Photo by Sunhi Mang. © Copyright Agency, 2020 and the artist

Notes to editors


Images of Chiharu Shiota artworks

Artist biography

Chiharu Shiota was born in Osaka, Japan in 1972 and now lives and works in Berlin. Shiota’s inspiration often emerges from a personal experience or emotion which she expands into universal human concerns such as life, death, and relationships. She has redefined the concept of memory and consciousness by collecting ordinary objects such as shoes, keys, beds, chairs, and dresses and engulfing them in immense thread structures. She explores this sensation of a ‘presence in the absence’ with her installations, but also presents intangible emotions in her sculptures, drawings, performance videos, photographs, and canvases.

Media contact

Clare Callaghan
021 541 343