レディー・ガガのシューズも手がけたアーティスト、舘鼻則孝が考える東京とは? vol.1 NORITAKA TATEHANA is the artist who designed Lady Gaga’s shoes.  What does he think of Tokyo? (Volume 1)

世界を虜にした「ヒールレスシューズ」が生まれるまでThe Genesis of the Heel-less Shoes that Captivated the World

舘鼻則孝をご存知だろうか。東京藝術大学の卒業制作で、花魁の高下駄からインスピレーションを得て生み出した「ヒールレスシューズ」がNYのメトロポリタン美術館に永久収蔵。そして20代にして“あの”レディー・ガガのシューズを手がけたことで一躍その名を轟かせるなど、世界のファッションやアートシーンから熱い視線を集めている重要人物だ。現在ではシューズデザイナーの枠を超え、芸術家としての活動でもさらに注目が高まっている舘鼻は、1985年生まれという年齢も含め、高いレベルで東京の「Z世代」を象徴していると言える。そんな舘鼻則孝にとっての創作、日本と東京について聞いた。

Have you heard of Noritaka Tatehana? For his graduation project from Tokyo University of the arts, he created “heel-less” shoes inspired by the tall geta of an oiran, or Japanese courtesan. The heel-less shoes from this project are now part of the permanent collection at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. In his 20s, his heel-less shoes became famous worldwide after he produced them for Lady Gaga, and Tatehana-san is now receiving much attention in the international fashion and art scene. Presently, Tatehana-san has transcended being just a shoe designer, and is gaining acclaim for his broader work as an artist. Born in 1985, Tatehana-san is a heavyweight among Tokyo’s “Z Generation.” In this interview, we talk to Noritaka Tatehana about his work, Japan, and Tokyo.

Q.これまでのキャリアについて簡単に教えてください。How has your career developed?

HEEL-LESS SHOES SERIES, 2014

HEEL-LESS SHOES SERIES, 2014

舘鼻則孝の代表作「Heel-less Shoes」は、花魁の履く高下駄から着想を得た作品。メトロポリタン美術館やV&A博物館などの著名な美術館に永久収蔵されている。


Noritaka Tatehana’s seminal work, Heel-less Shoes, was inspired by the tall geta of a Japanese oiran, or courtesan. His works are featured in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and other well-known museums.

母が人形作家で、父の家系は新宿の歌舞伎町で銭湯をやっていたりと、今となってはその辺に自分のルーツがあるなと感じています。そういう家庭で育ったおかげで高校時代に美術を志して、東京藝大で染織を学びました。その卒業制作が海外の美術館に収蔵されて、レディー・ガガが靴を気に入ってくれて、今は靴やアート作品を創り出しているという流れですね。

My mother is a doll maker, and my father’s family ran a public bath in Shinjuku’s Kabukichô—I feel that I can trace my roots back to that environment. I was raised in a creative family, so I decided to pursue art when I was in high school. That led me to Tokyo University of the Arts, where I studied the textile arts. My graduation project was exhibited in art museums, and Lady Gaga was one person who took a liking to them. That’s how I became the shoe designer and artist that I am today.

Q.そもそもシューズを作ろうと思ったきっかけは何だったのでしょうか?So what in particular led you to create shoes?

最初に靴を作ったのは15歳の時です。その時は靴だけじゃなく洋服全体に興味があったので、自分なりにトータルで作ってみたんです。靴を作るのには「木型」が必要なんですが、そんなことも知りませんでした(笑)。「とにかく全部やりきる」というのが当時の自分にとっては重要だったんです。

I first made shoes when I was 15. At the time, I was interested in making not only shoes, but the entire wardrobe, so I tried to make everything as best I could. You actually have to make what’s known as a last (solid mockup) for shoes, but in my naivety I didn’t know that at the time. Well, let’s just say that doing it all was important to me at that age.

Q.15歳で服から靴まで自分で作ろうとすること自体が非凡ですよね。It’s extraordinary that you were thinking of making everything from clothing to shoes when you were just 15 years old.

やっててすごく楽しかったんですよ。そこからいろんなものを作りましたけど、自分なりに「靴だな」と思ったのは大学の卒業制作です。染織を学んでいたので「友禅染」でドレスを作ったんです。靴はその延長でしたが、いざ世界に売り込んでみたらレディー・ガガや美術館が選んだのが靴だったんです。だから他のものは一旦全部捨てたんですよね。「何やっているのかわからない人」にはなりたくなかったので、戦略的にもまずは「ヒールレスシューズ」=「NORITAKA TATEHANA」として認知してもらおうと。

I had so much fun doing it. From then on I made a variety of things, but it was my university graduation project that led me to focus on shoes. I studied the textile arts, so for my graduation project, I made a dress using traditional Yuzen dyeing techniques, and the shoes I made were just an extension of the wardrobe. But the shoes were the part that intrigued the world, including the museums, Lady Gaga, and others. So I turned away from clothing in general, and focused on shoes. I didn’t want to take a scatterbrained approach, and I strategically chose to focus first on having the brand Noritaka Tatehana become associated with heel-less shoes.

Q.舘鼻さんの作品は「日本」を意識したものが多いのもそういう考えからですか?Much of your work evokes a sense of “Japan” – is that also your focus?

僕は「日本で生まれて育った日本人」です。僕は昔から海外に目を向けていたからこそ、「日本はどういう国か」を見つめる機会も多かったんです。仮にヨーロッパでファッションについて勉強しようとして、頑張っても最終的に本場の人たちに勝てるのかと思ったんですね。だから立ち止まってもう一度考えてみたときに、日本をしっかり学んでから海外に行く方が自然でした。

Well, I am Japanese, and I was born and raised in Japan. However, I was also interested in things overseas from an early age, so that dual perspective led me to search for what “Japan” really means. I mean, I could have focused on European fashion, but in the end, the Europeans will know their environment better. So after thinking about it, it seemed more natural to learn deeply about “Japan” before turning my attention overseas.

TRACES OF A CONTINUING HISTORY SERIES, 2015

伝統工芸士との創作から生まれた「Traces of a Continuing History Series」は、実際に舘鼻の全身の骨格を自刻像(セルフポートレート)として表現した作品群。真鍮による卓越された鋳造は、富山県高岡市の能作の技術協力に寄る。


The Traces of a Continuing History Series is a collection of bronze castings of Tatehana-san’s actual skeleton that serves as his “self portrait” as an artist. The exquisite castings were produced in collaboration with the traditional industrial craftsmen of the Nôsaku workshop in Takaoka City, Toyama Prefecture.

TRACES OF A CONTINUING HISTORY SERIES, 2015

Q.では、そこから文献なども含めて日本について勉強もしたんですか?So that perspective led you to the study of “Japan,” including its literature?

TRACES OF A CONTINUING HISTORY SERIES, 2015

TRACES OF A CONTINUING HISTORY SERIES, 2015

今の日本にとっては着物にしても歌舞伎にしても身近ではないので、大学時代は図書館に篭って陶芸とか日本画とかの資料も見ていました。見過ぎて嫌いになっちゃいましたけど(笑)。藝大では人間国宝みたいな方にも教わる貴重な機会もあるし、超一級品と呼ばれる江戸、明治の国宝も見られたので、恵まれていましたね。でもそれって結局過去のものなんですよ。国宝と呼ばれるようなものは2,000年代以降なかなか出てないですから。

Whether you’re talking about kimono or kabuki, much of traditional Japan is not commonplace in today’s Japan. So, during university I would sequester myself in the library and endlessly, and I mean endlessly, pour over materials on ceramic arts or Japanese-style painting. At Tokyo University of the Arts, you’re blessed to be able to study under professors designated as Living National Treasures, and to witness the greatest works of the Edo and Meiji periods. But those are historical works, and not contemporary—there haven’t been many works released in the 2000s that have been designated as National Treasures.

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