ARTIST STATEMENT

I grew up surrounded by my mother's art books and spent my childhood engrossed in craft and painting.

During that time, I also began making various things, particularly in woodwork and electronic equipment. It was also at that time I became interested in shoes. Visiting a local leather shoe shop almost every day, I was fascinated by the appearance of the decorated leather and jumped into the shoemaking world. I was captivated by the functional “formative beauty” rather than the idea of shoes as “tools” whose beauty is enhanced with the passage of time.

And so my apprenticeship began and I practiced shoemaking for ten years in Tokyo and Europe. In Vienna, I spent my days visiting artists' ateliers and art museums in addition to shoe workshops. I absorbed the 
knowledge, feelings and senses like breathing air. As I developed and refined my techniques, I began to dream that my shoes one day would be displayed as artworks in museums.

This particular decade, still in my twenties, was dedicated to discipline and was hard, with long training days often in pursuit technology. After returning to Japan in 2011, I finally established my own workshop. Making bespoke shoes and, over the next four years, continuing my education under Japanese artists and craftsmen, I expanded the possibilities of self-expression. Since I establishing this workshop, I have been both excited and confused in finding my own expression.

The foundation of my creative activities comes from the coming and going between two worlds: making ordinary bespoke shoes and creating works of art. Both require delicate and skilled work by traditional 
hand-crafting methods. I have received positive feedback from both. The knowledge and techniques of making bespoke shoes makes it possible to embody the work image in my mind. On the other hand, completely new technologies and ideas derived from creating artworks are often reflected in bespoke shoes.

Currently, in my shoe artworks, I make use of new materials with traditional Japanese techniques, such as leather waste and gold leaf. In this regard, innovating rust processing is utilised for the latest work.

Finally, I have been most fortunate, with opportunities to meet wonderful artists from many different genres. 
They have changed my thoughts and encouraged creative flexibility. I strive to continuously I evolve shoes as an art with my skills and my ideas. As I explore new values of existence with the appellation “the art of the shoe,” which seeks to express the idea of thoroughly pursuing the beauty of shape, I believe that there is a unique world only I can depict.