It was in my adolescent years when I became obsessed with shoes. In the strict school environment where everything was regulated by rules except for the shoes we wore to school, they became the embodiment of my self-expression, free spirit and teenage rebellion.

As I follow the traditional shoe-making process, which starts with carving a shoe-mold, my shoes of artwork are functional and can be worm. However, that is not my intention. I enjoy the perceptual illusion that takes place when a pair of shoes on my table transforms into an object I have never seen in reality, but only exists in my imagination. In order to achieve that sensation, I have to imbue a sense of reality in my shoes. To me, replicating the genuine structure of shoes can only be realized by faithfully following the traditional shoe making process. The textiles used in my shoes are also my original, created by weaving hand-mixed threads or twisted Japanese papers (washi).

The theme for my next series will focus on ‘sensuality.’ The inside and the outside of a shoe and the motifs will depict inner and outer faces that a woman has. I would like to create a pair of shoes using lacquer and use turban shell, a shell that is vulgar and flamboyant outside but is silky and milky white inside, as the motif for my first work. In the case of the exact opposite would be also….