One of Japan’s more famous shoe designers, Noritaka Tatehana, who counts among his clients Lady Gaga, has opened an art gallery in Tokyo where he will be showcasing the best works of Japan’s young, modern artists. The space opened on Thursday at the Ebisu district together with a new branch of T6M, a hip Tokyo shoe store.
But this gallery, called Pocket, is not about just shoes as Tatehana says it is an altogether separate facet from his shoe making. He aims to use the space to showcase the works of manga artists, illustrators, sculptors, graphic designers and painters, all of whom have an element of Japanese tradition and culture. He will be personally curating and directing the gallery as he says this has been one of his missions and a “personal dream” in life, to showcase young Japanese artists. “I want to educate people about the young talented creators that exist in Japan and help these artists to raise their profile and earn a living from their work,” he said.
The four square meter space is located in a corner of the T6M. Each exhibition will last for three months and the inaugural one is called “The Daughters” and features the work of komtena, an illustrator and graphic designer who’s known for his mechanical motifs and Nobuki Kato, a manga artist from Hiroshima. The exhibit features poster-themed artworks by the two and the name is the same as that of Tatehana’s new sneaker collaboration with another famed footwear artist, Yoichiro Kitadate.
The 28-year-old Tatehana has been a rising star in Japan, as fashion-forward celebrities like Lady Gaga (who purportedly has 25 of his creations) have been all praises for his unique and almost sculptural footwear. Each pair he makes are personally handcrafted, using a variety of Japanese artisan techniques that he learned from studying the traditional dyeing and weaving methods when he was in university. His shoes are clog-like and impossibly tall, between 25 and 46 centimeters (10 to 18 inches) high. Ever since Lady Gaga has made his shoes part of her iconic outfits, there has been a high demand for his creations, with some pairs selling for as much as $15,000.
[ via Wall Street Journal ]