Yuko Shiraishi: Space

Yuko Shiraishi: Space

Tuesday 20 July – Saturday 18 September 2021

In her solo exhibition Space for East GalleryNUA, artist Yuko Shiraishi recreates her visionary architectural installation Space Elevator Tea House.

The exhibition draws on a number of contemporary, topical themes such as space exploration, scientific endeavour, tradition and modernity.

It also acknowledges the past year as an extraordinary time in which we have been forced to consider the space around ourselves, and our connection to the immediate environment and travel.

Booking information

Opening hours
Tuesday – Friday: 12-5pm
Saturday: 12-4pm

Admission free at East GalleryNUA – but booking online recommended.

About ‘Space’

Made from stainless steel tubes and plexiglass the construction is a skeletal ghost building – replicating the form of an early 17th-century traditional Japanese tea house, but also posing as a vehicle into space.

Shiraishi’s inspiration for the project comes from Arthur C Clarke’s novel Fountains of Paradise in which the transportation of people and objects into space is made possible on a rigid metal ribbon.

The artist also uses this idea to contemplate architecture, the relationship between humanity and space, and that between Japanese tradition and Western science.

East GalleryNUA invites visitors to consider the artwork in a darkened section of the gallery, creating an atmosphere of stillness, contemplation and possibility.

In addition to this, the exhibition will present two new paintings by Shiraishi produced in 2020 during the first UK period of lockdown, Space (2020), and To Where.

“It is illuminating to think about the relationship between the space we inhabit and the way in which we occupy it. We can sit on the floor, sit on a chair, stand, lie on the floor or lie on the bed. Because of my dual Japanese and English background, I’m particularly sensitive to existence to these differences.”

Yuko Shiraishi, July 2009. Space Space publication.

Covid-19 safety guidance

  • East Gallery is a Covid-safe environment and will be operating in the following ways to limit risk:
  • While we can now welcome drop-in visitors to East Gallery, we urge people to pre-book their free tickets online.
  • Visits will continue be limited to 8 people per 30 minute session, and all visitors will be urged to remain at a distance of 2 meters from each other, where possible.
  • Masks are still required across the university campus and will be necessary for all visitors to East Gallery, unless medically exempt. 
  • All visitors will be asked to sign-in to the government track and trace system via the QR code at the front desk, or leave a telephone number for contact should it be required.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available in the gallery in two locations, and visitors will be required to sanitize if they wish to look at the books on display in the gallery.

Image credit: Yuko Shiraishi, Space Elevator Tea House, 2009. Image courtesy Annely Juda Fine Art, London.