BERLIN – The vision of a Japanese artist has transformed a church in the German capital into a dense web of black threads and pages from the Bible – a sight that members of the public would be able to soak in from Friday.
Chiharu Shiota and her team have been busy decorating Berlin’s oldest church with reams of thread as part of an art installation titled “Lost Words” to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
Images captured by an epa photojournalist showed pages of the Bible in different languages caught up among the threads, apparently symbolic of what was rediscovered during the Reformation period.
The piece is “a symbol of the global complexity of the Reformation and the message of the Bible,” according to the Stadtmuseum Berlin foundation, which runs the church.
The artist and her team were still working on the piece on Thursday, using a tallescopes to reach the heights of the historic building St. Nicholas’ Church, which played an important role during the Reformation.
“At the centre of the work is the Biblical Decalogue – the Ten Commandments – the sense and meaning of which were rediscovered during the Reformation,” according to the Stadtmuseum Berlin.
The idea behind the artwork harks back to the Christianization of Japan in the 16th century, when Portuguese Christians took the Bible to the Asian country.
While General Toyotomi Hideyoshi may have outlawed the religion, its followers killed or made to give up their faith and Biblical scriptures disposed of, Christians passed on the word of God through the spoken word, preserving the message of the Bible.
Visitors can catch a glimpse of the exhibition from Sept. 29-Nov. 19.