Chiharu Shiota | I HOPE...
KÖNIG GALERIE I NAVE | 12.1.–28.2.2021

Chiharu Shiota, HAND TO HAND, 2019.Installation: red wool, letters, 2019 at Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art – Boundless Encounters, Hangzhou, China. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2020 and the artist.
Photo: Fang Jie


The artist Chiharu Shiota would like to invite you to participate in her January 2021 installation I HOPE at KÖNIG GALERIE by completing the sentence on the red paper. You can do this with any content you like, in any language, or you can also draw an image. Either fill it in now and leave it at the gallery, or complete it at home and send it back to the gallery.

I hope...

For my installation, I would like to include 10,000 red papers floating through the König Galerie, on which people have written their hopes for the future. All sheets have the words “I hope...” printed on them. They will be distributed in different locations, with the request that people share their hopes for the future with me. To print the paper with this line was inspired by my elementary school book where one page started with: “Dear Teacher, I want to tell you...” This sentence helped me to express my emotions in words more easily.

“I hope..."

What is my hope?

“I hope my family will live a healthy and happy life;” “I hope to meet the person I love again;" “I hope that this illness will be cured;“ “I hope that the earth will be an environment where future children can live comfortably.”

Since March, the world has changed and so have people's lives. National policies for the new virus are different from country to country. Here in Germany lockdowns have been implemented and theatres, restaurants, museums, and schools have been closed. Although some of them are now open again, the official distance that you have to keep from another person is 1.5m. Following this rule while also wearing masks makes for tense human relationships.

Hope is what brings us together again. We built and developed this society by having hope. Hope is a quality unique to human beings. Are there animals that can have hope on this planet?

In my work, boats are a symbol for an uncertain path that you have to continue. It is in the architecture of the boat to move forward, while being moved by a force much more powerful than itself.

In situations of uncertainty, people tend to pray. I like the idea that the space of St Agnes is filled with prayers and hopes again.

Chiharu Shiota