From geta to Gaga and beyond
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Portland Japanese Garden — with its newly debuted Cultural Crossing expansion designed by world renowned architect Kengo Kuma — is bringing yet another distinguished name to Portland for his first solo exhibition in the United States.
Fine artist Noritaka Tatehana will be showcasing his internationally renowned works in "Noritaka Tatehana: Refashioning Beauty" at Portland Japanese Garden Oct. 5 through Dec. 1.
"Refashioning Beauty" showcases some of Tatehana's most established pieces including the "heel-less shoes" worn by Lady Gaga and Daphne Guinness as well as pieces based on the "scents" of Japanese culture. His many works are a result of his creative activities within the sphere of various traditional crafts spanning across Japan. All of his pieces are made from carefully selected materials and physical labor.
"I am concerned about the preservation of traditional Japanese craft and culture; the succession of critical skills and techniques that are handed down from generation to generation. But I am not working to revive obsolete craft items that we no longer use," Tatehana said.
Tatehana says contemporary expression is different from traditional expression.
"In some cases keeping things as they are simply prolongs their demise. I believe artists can bring revolution in Japanese traditional culture through artistic expressions if we embrace our modern time while encompassing the context and flow of past, present and future," he said.
"Noritaka Tatehana: Refashioning Beauty" covers not just Tatehana's heel-less shoes, but Japanese woodblock prints, stainless steel sculptures and wooden platform clogs reminiscent of those work by the Oiran (Japanese courtesans) during Japan's Edo period. Oiran became the inspiration source of the works Tatehana creates.
His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
For admission and garden hours visit japanesegarden.org.
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