‘I was on a conveyor belt to death’: the astonishing worlds of Chiharu Shiota

After a frightening diagnosis, the Japanese artist is taking on mortality in her new show in Brisbane, using thread to construct huge artworks that sweep entire rooms

In 2016, the day after Chiharu Shiota was presented with plans for an ambitious solo exhibition spanning her 30-year artistic career, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of ovarian cancer.

“I felt my soul was going to separate from my body … I was frightened,” the artist says now. “My daughter was nine years old. How can she survive without a mother? … There was a lot of thinking about the universe and soul.”

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