Japan Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale in 2015: Message from the Artist

Submitting Keys for Use in Chiharu Shiota's "The Key in the Hand"

The exhibition "The Key in the Hand" will need 50,000 keys for a new installation. It will be highly appreciated if you could kindly provide us a key that you no longer need for use.

Please see below for more information

Photo of The Key in the Hand
The Key in the Hand 2014
Photo:Sunhi Mang

Message from the Artist

I have been selected to show my work in the Japan Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale in Italy in 2015. It is a great honor for me to be given the opportunity to participate in the world's oldest exhibition along with the curator Hitoshi Nakano, who organized a solo exhibition of my work in Kanagawa in 2007. Using the second-floor gallery and the pilotis on the first floor of the pavilion, I will present a new installation titled "The Key in the Hand," consisting of two boats, red yarn, and a huge number of keys.

Keys are familiar and very valuable things that protect important people and spaces in our lives. They also inspire us to open the door to unknown worlds. With these thoughts in mind, in this new installation I would like to use keys provided by the general public that are imbued with various recollections and memories that have accumulated over a long period of daily use. As I create the work in the space, the memories of everyone who provides me with their keys will overlap with my own memories for the first time. These overlapping memories will in turn combine with those of the people from all over the world who come to see the biennale, giving them a chance to communicate in a new way and better understand each other's feelings.

I would be extremely grateful if you would consider giving me a key that you no longer need so that I can use it as part of this work. Then I hope that everyone will be inspired by the work, containing an accumulation of memories from all over the world, to reconsider what it means to be alive.

Chiharu Shiota

About Submitting Keys for Use

How to submit:

Submission deadline extended : All keys must be received by November 30, 2014.

  • All keys must be no longer used for its intended purpose and will be provided gratis.
  • Shipping costs will be borne by key providers.
  • The names of key providers will not appear in the work.
  • All keys will not be returned after the exhibition has concluded.
  • A receipt will not be issued for submission.

Shipping address:

Chiharu Shiota "Keys" Collecting Team
International Operations Section 2, Arts and Culture Dept.
The Japan Foundation

4-4-1 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0004

Bringing Keys:

Keys could be directly brought to the following collecting point.

Location: Key collecting box at the JFIC reception counter, The Japan Foundation, Tokyo
Address: 4-4-1 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0004Access
Time: Monday-Friday 10:00-18:00

  • *Overseas submitting address and for other collecting points in Japan, please refer to the following website.

Japan Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition

[Contact Us]

The Japan Foundation
International Operations Section 2, Arts and Culture Dept.
Person in charge: Ohira (Mr.), Sugie (Ms.)
Tel: +81-(0)3-5369-6063
Fax: +81-(0)3-5369-6038
Email: venezia@jpf.go.jp
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