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Le Bon Marché is one of the most iconic department stores in Paris. It attracts visitors from all over the world daily, who come here to find elegant goods and luxury brands. In order to make it even more appealing, the building welcomes now a sculpture that is beyond creative.
Inside the historic department store in Paris, Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota has suspended 150 sculptural boats from the ceiling, figuratively ‘sailing’ across the space. Drawn from typologies found across a range of cultures and communities, the hollowed out metal hulls hang from the store’s central glass roof, surrounding visitors in an all-white abyss.
Chiharu Shiota offers an immersive and multi-sensory experience inside Le Bon Marché. The exhibition invites visitors to ‘sail towards a fresh start’ as they ponder the origin and destination of the boats, taking them on a journey of uncertainty and wonder.
Shiota’s work portrays boats through her own distinct lens. Her approach is quite varied as she is interested in their multiple shapes, their mixed cultural history, and their uncertain destinations. As well as their ability to travel, to connect one point in the world to another and to carry people along with their imaginations.
By night, the suspended boats are illuminated above visitors. The installation conveys the themes of nature, snow and purity.
As part of the exhibition ‘Where are we going?’, Shiota has sculpted a monumental mesh wave titled ‘memory of the ocean’ on the ground floor that visitors can experience by walking through as if they were under the sea.
About Le Bon Marché
The oldest department store of the Rive Gauche, property of LVMH Luxury Group, sells a wide range of high-end goods and has an elegant, refined atmosphere. The building generates surprise and promotes a way of life that transforms shopping into «art de vivre». This sense of magic charm can be experienced mostly because of the furniture inside the shop. Visitors may experience the luxury feeling throughout the space, especially the armchairs and sofas upholstered in different opulent fabrics.
The building inspired the design of the Bon Marché store in Sydney, designed by Arthur Anderson. Planned and designed around an unusual setting under the renovated glass ceiling on the 2nd floor, thereby revealing its architectural heritage, Le Bon Marché boasts furniture based on a unique and innovative concept.