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Madoka Chiba

Madoka Chiba (千葉麻十佳)

Born 1982 in Sapporo
Enrolled in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Tokyo University of the Arts in 2003, graduating in 2007. Upon graduation, she would receive the Salon de Printemps Prize and the Ikuo Hirayama Prize, which the university independently selects for and awards. The same year, she enrolled in the university's graduate course in sculpture, which she completed in 2009. That year she received a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst), and enrolled in the Berlin University of the Arts (Universität der Künste Berlin) as an exchange student. She did not graduate, but instead began working as an artist the following year. She received the Bronze Prize and Jury Prize at Maebashi Art Compe Live in 2011 and 2012, respectively.


Past exhibitions (selected):
“Lightrays” GALLERY OFF GRID, Fukushima 2019
“Weather Report” TOCHIGI PREFECTURAL MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, Utsunomiya 2018
“1000 Grad” Hohhaus Museum Lauterbach, Lauterbach 2017
“The Melting Point; In Fluctuating Stones” Tachibana Gallery, Tokyo 2016
Nakanojo Biennale 2015 “Rays” Hirosakari and “Meltings Stone by Sunlight” at Museé, Nakanojo 2015
“Tracing Light” Tenjinyama Art Studio, Sapporo 2015
“Ich kann mich nicht erinnern” Historischer Keller, Berlin 2014
“das unbewusste Naturgesetz” Japanese-German Center Berlin, Berlin 2013 (Supported by NOMURA FOUNDATION)
“Water Tower Art Fest” Water Tower, Sofia 2012
“blooming in the dark” Historischer Keller, Berlin 2012 ( The Asahi Shimbun Foundation)


Artist in Residence:
YUI-PORT, Niigata 2020
Listhus, Ólafsfjördur, Iceland 2016
Sapporo Tenjinyama Art Studio, Sapporo, Japan 2015
In 2021, planing to stay at the Artist in Residence Asahikawa in July and at the Shiretoko Nature Centre in August.



Artist Statement

I create work using natural phenomena with the theme of “what light is”. In many cases, light itself is incorporated into the work, without distinguishing between natural and artificial light. I develop my work by connecting light with the context of historical events as well as today’s social issues. Light is a classic subject in art, but the light used in my work is not like the shading of paintings or light art, but rather focuses on the scientific aspects of light.


Light includes many different meanings:
Because there was no electricity in the past, the only way to get light was from the sun or fire. In indigenous religions all over the world, the sun and fire were revered as deities. However, in modern society, we no longer worship them as gods; rather, light is interpreted as physical energy. Renewable energy is a typical example; there probably isn’t anyone who senses divinity from solar energy systems.


Light is also a weapon. Nuclear bombs have destroyed many people and things with an enormous amount of light. And although not a weapon, nuclear fuel also emits light. Though the interpretation of light has changed with the times, it still continues to be an object of fear, by our own hands.


The reason I create pieces about light is because it is such an interesting subject, with a wide range of meanings. It is said that living things cannot exist without light, but there is also death caused by light. Pursuing the question of “what light is” leads us to visualize ourselves today.