Meeting with Teppei Ikehira from his private exhibition ”今を灯して(Lighting up the present)” – Part II

At Part I, I introduced Teppei Ikehara‘s art piece, titled ’They know their place’.

Ikehira told me that he started painting it with ‘a boy cuddling a tiger’. Can you locate the little boy?  It is drawn at the lower part of left corner.

Teppei Ikehira 1

a boy with a tiger

One day Ikehira brought back a stuffed tiger from neighbor restaurant to surprise his son expected to be home from school.  Against the odds, the son started cuddling the tiger and that became an inspiration for Ikehira to start out the work.

Ikehira said that he normally doesn’t have full picture how he wants to finish a work when he started.  The finished work is so to say a consequence of accumulated daily inspiration.

“I intuitively find a motif that interests me and carefully draw it with high concentration and in detail.  I continuously find such  interesting motifs from daily life, so I have a plenty of sources.”

Ikehira‘s inspiration comes from a slice of daily life. Interaction with his children, orange tree in his back yard, insects, birds coming to his house, a picture in a magazine he happens to read, etc, etc. Anything could be sufficient to keep his fire going.

Looking at countless motifs scattered like stars on canvas, my mind traveled with memories, was stimulated with new encounters and felt like dreaming. I may have had a some kind of simulated experience through Ikehira’s artwork.

Ikehira‘s work is exhibited at Corridor Gallery 34, Park Hotel Tokyo this month. Don’t miss the chance!

Date: September 1, 2018 (Sat.) – September 30, 2018 (Sun.)
Time: 11:00 a.m. ~ 5:00 p.m.
Place: Corridor Gallery 34, Park Hotel Tokyo (34F)
Fare: Admission Free

At the next post, I will touch on some more Ikehira‘s creations.

Floating Flower Garden @National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (日本科学未来館)


The exhibition of flower themed new installation started on March 7 until May 10 at National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (日本科学未来館) in Odaiba, Tokyo. This installation was made by teamLab, one of the coolest digital technology based creative group in Japan.  I wrote about their exhibition at Maison et Objet in January.

At ‘Floating Flower Garden’ー more than 2300 floating flowers fill the space. These flowers are alive and are growing everyday. Once a viewer approaches to the space with full of floating flowers, those flowers reacts by moving up and creating a hemispherical space around the viewer. If multiple viewers get closer each other, each hemispherical space is merged and become one large dome. It is as if the flowers and viewers unify in the space and merge in harmony.

You can get the feeling of the exhibition in the moving picture below.


ARTIST “NORITAKA TATEHANA” The Borders of Tradition and Innovation

Heel-less Shoues Lady Pointe 2014

You may familiar with Lady Gaga’s 9 inch heel-less platform shoes.

Lady Gaga by Nick Knight for Vanity Fair

Lady Gaga by Nick Knight for Vanity Fair

The designer of her shoes is Japanese artist, ‘Noritaka Tatehana‘.

noritaka tatehana

Photo via Noritaka Tatehana site 

The heel-less shoes was his graduation project from Tokyo University of the Arts in 2010 and the shoes soon attracted the attention of fashion industries overseas including Lady Gaga’s stylist.

Becoming Lady Gaga’s sole shoes-maker suddenly put him in the spotlight. Nowadays, his heel-less platform is loved by many celebrities such as Daphne Guinness.

Daphne Guinness

Photo via French Vogue

His inspiration of the design came from ‘Oiran’ (Japanese courtesans), whose decadent fashion established a very unique mode in the 19th Century.

Oiran wore ‘wooden geta’ which is thirty centimeter-high platform shoes. NoritakaTatehana says that his heel-less shoes are a new version of the traditional Japanese platform shoes that crosses over the traditional and modern Japanese identities.

Oiran Dochu

Photo via Tsubame-kankou

“Good shoes take people to good places. I feel Happy if I can create the best pair for my clients.”

Noritaka Tatehana sees shoes are a communication tool and his profession is to adorn people.

“I am a creator of “things”, but I would like to be someone who could share time and experience with the people I meet, not just a person who leaves behind his creations.”

“I create shoes out of communication with my clients. I will create as many number of shoes as the encounters I have.”

Are you interested in getting a pair of heel-less high platform? You can order it from here. The price ranges from $2,500 a pair to $4,000.

The exhibition of Noritake Tatehana has been running at 8/Art Gallery/Tomio Koyama Gallery in Shibuya Hikarie in Tokyo until January 12 so you had better hurry.

Hairpin Series 2014

Hairpin red

Heel-less shoes Lady Bloom 2014

Floating World Series 2014

Lady Gaga Shoes

The style is not quite for me, but I had a Lady Gaga moment.

gaga shoes

HOTEL OKURA TOKYO Reborn and Tokyo Olympics

Hotel Okura6

A perfect blend of orange soft light and natural sun light coming through a paper sliding door (Shoji). I am writing this at the spacious main lobby of Hotel Okura Tokyo.

Here, the light gives a warm feeling. It seems whether it subtly hides the thing which you don’t wish to show, in comparison with recent modern buildings, transparent and light, and full of glass-made material used. I sometime feel intimidated and overly exposed.

Photo by Mannuel Oka

Photo by Manuel Oka  (

Hotel Okura Tokyo, one of Japan’s most iconic hotels will be torn down from September 2015 to renovate its main building with completion by Spring 2019, one year prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It has been long time since I came here last time in daytime and I had an urge to come here to burn every detail of my favorite hotel into my memory.

Here you find Japan’s modern design combined with the traditional colors, patterns, shapes and materials.

Lanterns shaped in an ancient necklace motif (切子玉)

Hotel Okura1

Shoji with glass window behind a sliding bottom half and a mullion with a flax leaf pattern

Flax leaf pattern was introduced in江戸切子/


A muntin with a haze hanging over the scene (霞棚型)


Rhomboid Pattern


Hexagonal Pattern



Bird pattern

Hotel Okura Tokyo was built two years ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 by the team of architects led by Yoshiro Taniguchi and an annex was added in 1973.  Kishichiro Okura, the founder of Hotel Okura believed that availability of a luxury hotel in the capital city represents a standard of the culture of the country. Hotel Okura Tokyo was built under his desire of creating a modern hotel that embraced Japan’s traditional beauty.

The main building of Hotel Okura Tokyo may be exhorted and need a reconstruction, but the timing of it prior to two Tokyo Olympics for both creation and re-creation, I can’t think of anything but destiny.

Its main building will be reborn as a 38-storey glass tower in 2019. It is said that the new building will maintain the traditional Japanese aesthetic and will be a true “Made in Japan” luxury hotel to preserve its rich history. As Kishichiro Okura had a clear vision how the first Hotel Okura Tokyo should be, new Hotel Okura Tokyo perhaps need a purpose of reconstruction beyond the economic reason.

All of my fingers are crossed and Hotel Okura Tokyo hopefully won’t be buried into many of those glass-walled high rises.

Monocle magazine has started a petition to save the old Hotel Okura Tokyo. You can participate in it from the link below. I hope they will succeed.


More information on Hotel Okura Tokyo:


TAKUMIST wishes you a very Happy Holiday season and a peaceful and prosperous New Year from Tokyo.