Noritaka Tatehana

Beyond the Vanishing Point

20/Oct/2018 - 1/Dec/2018

KOSAKU KANECHIKA is pleased to present “Beyond the Vanishing Point,” a solo exhibition of new work by Noritaka Tatehana. This is Tatehana’s second solo show with the gallery since the gallery’s first exhibition at its grand opening in March 2017.


Noritaka Tatehana first came into the limelight after his now representative graduation project “Heel-less Shoes” caught the attention of Lady Gaga, leading him to become her exclusive shoemaker. His wide range of practices embodies the artist himself changing in relation to time. Taking “classic and contemporary” as his central concept, Tatehana expresses pathways to the future by creating collaborations between Japanese identity and its cultural treasures with contemporary elements.


As a keyword supporting his thinking – possessing both an over-arching perspective, and a comprehensive critical approach to exploring detail – Tatehana has given the show the title “Vanishing Point.”
Tatehana states:


Exploration into “Vanishing Point” plays an important role in my artistic practice. It provides me with certain pairs of viewpoints towards subject matters such as self and other, memory and reality, and life and death; and the resulting work establishes the boundaries of these notions. My fascination for the idea of another self standing on the other side of the vanishing point drives me to create, and my work may become a platform to encounter another version of myself.


This exhibition is composed of all new works. Mainly featuring the new series “Vanishing Point”, “Cloud Painting” and “Void Sculpture”, it also presents works from the artist’s representative “Heel-less Shoes” and “Hairpin” series.


About This Exhibition

Tatehana states of the exhibition’s main “Vanishing Point” series as follows:


I had a question during my teens about the one-point perspective of the Renaissance paintings: whose perspective is that? It certainly seems to symbolically interpret the existence of Jesus, which is at the center of religious painting. But what about perspective within Japanese paintings? In a two-dimensional format, Japanese painting does not have proper, minutely-calculated visual perspective, but it does possess something known as reverse perspective. In comparison with the one-point perspective of religious painting, which has a vanishing point in the center of the painting, Japanese reverse perspective’s vanishing point appears to be outside of the painting. So, from whose perspective is that?
Also, from whose perspective were the bird-eye view paintings looking down through clouds such as in the traditional motif of “Views in and around the City of Kyoto” created? Originally, clouds were a motif depicted as a vehicle of Buddha in the motif of the Raigo View, implying a boundary between life and death, sky and earth. Clouds are also called “shi-un” (purple clouds), symbolizing auspiciousness. In World War II there was a reconnaissance aircraft called “Shi-un”, probably due to the name’s connotations of good fortune.


In the “Void Sculpture” series, Tatehana explores Japan’s original culture of signs and symbols, separated from their meanings, guided by Roland Barthes’s text “The Empire of Signs”.
Tatehana states:


As Roland Barthes analyses in “The Empire of Signs”, the Imperial Palace being located in the center of Japan symbolizes Japan’s high context culture, as a symbolic void within the city. The words “yorishiro” and “himorogi” in Japanese animism refer to the notion of sanctuary. These existences without forms are always represented by substitutes, namely “voids”.


“This city has a center indeed. However, the center is empty.”
– Roland Barthes, “The Empire of Signs”


At this exhibition, the sculptural works created in collaboration with master swordsmith Kunihira Kawachi will be presented from the “Void Sculpture” series.


One of the special features of Tatehana’s work is its ability to encompass deep, broad realms of history, culture, and philosophy that support its overwhelming sense of presence. Viewers are first attracted by his work visually, and then invited upon an imaginative and intellectual adventure, through the artist’s unique perspective towards past, contemporary, and future.


General information

Noritaka Tatehana “Beyond the Vanishing Point”

October 20 - December 1, 2018
Opening reception: October 20, at 6 pm - 8 pm

11 am - 6 pm / Tue, Wed, Thu and Saturday
11 am - 8 pm / Friday
Closed on Sun, Mon and National Holidays

TERRADA Art Complex 5F
1-33-10 Higashi-Shinagawa

Free Admission

Noritaka Tatehana

Born in 1985 in Tokyo. His family ran the public bathhouse “Kabuki-yu” in Kabukicho, Tokyo, and he grew up in Kamakura. He learned to create with own hands when he was small, under the influence of his mother, who was a doll artist practicing the Waldorf education method. He graduated from the Department of Crafts, Textile Arts, at Tokyo University of the Arts in 2010. As well as undertaking cultural research in relation to depictions of prostitution, Tatehana also creates kimono and geta (traditional wooden clogs) with the Yuzen dyeing process. He has presented work at exhibitions including “Image-Makers” (21_21 DESIGN SIGHT, 2010), “Future Beauty” (the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, touring internationally, 2012), and in a solo museum exhibition, “Aesthetic of Magic” (The Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum, Japan, 2016) amongst others. He also presents a wide variety of creative practices, one notable example being a bunraku performance at the Cartier Foundation in Paris in March 2016. His work is included in the collections of institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Victoria & Albert Museum. He recently held a solo exhibition “NORITAKA TATEHANA RETHINK: Noritaka Tatehana & the Art of Japanese Scents” at the former residence of Mankichi Yamaguchi for three days from September 14th, 2018.


  • Heel-less Shoes, 2018

  • Heel-less Shoes, 2018

  • Heel-less Shoes, 2018

  • Heel-less Shoes, 2018

  • Heel-less Shoes, 2018

  • Heel-less Shoes, 2018

  • Heel-less Shoes, 2018

  • Heel-less Shoes, 2018

  • Heel-less Shoes, 2018