Chiho Akama – Dillon Gallery, New York
Born 1976 in Toyama, Japan
It was during Chiho Akama's adolescent years that she developed an obsession with shoes. Since everything was regulated in the rigid Japanese school system except for the shoes students wore, they became her outlet for expression, free spirit and teenage rebellion.
As Akama follows the traditional shoe-making process, which starts with carving a shoe-mold, her shoes are functional and can be worn. However, that is not her intention. She enjoys the illusion that takes place when a pair of shoes transforms into an object that does not commonly exist. It is the delicate balance between reality and fantasy that she strives to achieve in her work. Akama creates the textiles of her shoes by weaving hand-mixed threads or twisted Japanese papers (washi).