Contemporary Japanese artist Noritaka Tatehana was born in 1985. He studied Fine Arts and Sculpture at the Tokyo National University of the Arts, later majored in dyeing and weaving and creating his iconic shoes (Heel-less Shoes) as a graduation project. The elaborate creation quickly caught the attention of the fashion industry and stepped him into the spotlight.
My graduation project named “Heel-less Shoes” set off from the point when they attracted the attention of fashion industries overseas However, the idea actually came from Takageta (high-heeled clogs) that used to be worn by Oiran (courtesans). When I was learning the traditional Japanese dyeing techniques of “Yuzen-zome” at the University, I created “Kimono” and “Geta” after the model of classics. The Japanese stylised flat-plane art, and spatial art founded on Western anatomical research seemed to me to be opposite values. However, the place where both coexist is today’s Japan. In this condition of Japan today, which received an influx of American culture after the War, that allows for the hidden possibility of rebuilding Japan’s cultural values. – Noritaka Tatehana (Tomio Koyama Gallery Brochure)
In 2010, he established his own maison “NORITAKA TATEHANA”. Every step of the manufacturing process of his shoes are handcrafted by the designer himself. Not only are his collection pieces held with admiration in the fashion industry, but they draw attention from the art world as well.
For him the Heel-less Shoes are an artwork that has the sense of the contemporary which enables them to cross back and forth consciously across the borders of tradition and innovation, and also of local cultural and global sentiment.
His works are in the collection of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Victoria & Albert Museum (London) and Kyoto Costume Institute (Kyoto).
You can see his solo exhibition at Tomio Koyama Gallery, Hikarie 8F, Shibuya. Exhibitions ends on January 12.
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