Chihota picks up and dangles her subjects, like a puppeteer, into uncomfortable and unfamiliar blank spaces, where they are understandably vulnerable and anxious. Her work allows her to take a broken relationship where tensions have built up, and gives her the freedom to explore the possible ways to heal the wounds. She treats a relationship as a case study to research where she has gone wrong. Her subjects, in their inky corporeality, are parts of her. The two works on display here, both titled Raising Your Own (Kuero Wako), 2014 , are wrapped up in childrearing and marriage. Motifs, such as the wedding dress, are handled with delicacy.
Chihota’s bride is shrinking and silenced on her wedding day, her face and legs painted over with white so that she disappears into the paper. A black veil, more commonly associated with funerals hovers like an apparition behind her and her masked groom. We see the fruits of the marriage, juggled on stubby, foreshortened arms by a bearded, head-rolling bride. She seems at ease, despite her contortionism. The two pieces express a contradiction of the binding convention of marriage and primal maternal instinct. Through her work, Chihota lays bare her personal experiences as a woman, a mother and a wife, as she shares with us the ecstatic heights and plummeting depths of love and loneliness.