An interesting concept from designers Zhao Xiaoliang, Han Like, Liu Peng, Meng Qingbao, Ren Mingjun, Yang Xiao, Chen Xuan, Lin Lin. As the name suggests Topless Shoes have no upper constrictions or bindings. It’s like sinking your foot into a warm cushy hole and expecting it to ‘walk’ with you at every step. The elastic layer called ‘muscle’ parts under the foot and encloses it in a firm yet comfortable grip. Not sure about the practicality, but it’s certainly a great new way of thinking about footwear.
Zhao Xiaoliang, Han Like, Liu Peng, Meng Qingbao, Ren Mingjun, Yang Xiao, Chen Xuan, Lin Lin
Award winning London-based footwear designer Chau Har Lee will be showing her 3D printed RapidForm Shoe at the Aram Gallery’s upcoming Send to Print / Print to Send show. Chau Har Lee has been designing and hand making shoes for more than a decade. Says she, “My designs span conceptual showpieces to elegant and original yet accessible footwear. I often employ a crossover of making and manufacturing processes from fields other than shoemaking in order to realise my concepts.” “This gives me much scope for creativity in the design stage by removing boundaries associated with traditional methods. However, my knowledge of traditional shoemaking helps me know how and where I can break these boundaries. Importantly, although my most conceptual designs are showpieces, they are still built to adorn the foot.”
Here are a few more of her creative ideas!
Having studied at Camberwell, the Royal College of Art, and Cordwainers College, England, Chau Har Lee has had an impressive design profile behind her, winning the Manolo Blahnik and ITS awards amongst others. A born creative, she is dedicated to using new and innovative materials whilst attempting to balance commercial viability and recognition for creativity as a designer.
Kobi Levi from Israel deigns unique high-heeled shoes disguised as birds, animals, inflatable sex toys etc. He calls it foot wear art. This is just a few of his designs, take a look at his blog for more.
Kobi graduated from Bezalel academy of art & design, Jerusalem 2001. He specializes in footwear design and development. Working as a freelance designer. Collaborating with both Israeli and international companies, currently working on his women shoe line in Tel-Aviv, Israel. Designed commercial footwear in both Italy, China and Brazil. Presented design in various exhibitions in Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, Tokyo, Verona, St.Etienne, Berlin etc’… ” In my artistic footwear design the shoe is my canvas. The trigger to create a new piece comes when an idea, a concept and/or an image comes to mind. The combination of the image and footwear creates a new hybrid and the design/concept comes to life. The piece is a wearable sculpture. It is “alive” with/out the foot/body. Most of the inspirations are out of the “shoe-world”, and give the footwear an extreme transformation. The result is usually humoristic with a unique point of view about footwear. Another aspect of the creation is the realization. All the pieces are hand-made in my studio. The challenging technical development is the key to bring the design to life in the best way.”
Here at Mooki we thought we would start getting a bit Christmas-like on all of you, well not in the old traditional way ’cause thats not how we roll, so here is one in hopefully a series of posts with a Christmas Flava!!!
Shoe Christ (Subtitled – Compulsion to Refuse Something that Has Been Used) is a sculpture created by visual artist Petr Motyčka, who is mainly known in connection with the artist collective Pode Bal. Shoe Christ is made of approximately 1444 used (and mostly single) shoes. The sculpture is more than 6m high, weights over 500kg and was originally created for a public space on Prague’s riverside, where it was shown from August 2010 until January 2011. Subsequently it was modified for the specific space of the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art where it is currently exhibited.
Petr Motyčka says, “Shoes can be a vehicle of social status. The simple fact of „owning“ shoes once signified belonging to a higher social class. Contemporary shoes can signify the bearer’s cultural affinity. (e.g. Birkenstock sandals of hippies and New Age freaks, Doc Martens of punks and skinheads, branded trainers of mainstream lovers, cowboy boots of bikers and rockers or pointed snakeskin shoes worn by Prague’s Municipality clerks).
I have always been fascinated by shoes as well as by human feet. Their obvious sexuality mixes with aversion in certain people. Fetishism associated with shoes, intimate touches by feet, typical smells… Muslims are not allowed to enter a mosque wearing shoes and the throwing of a shoe is a means to express disgust. It is of no coincidence. Feet have a specific ambivalent sexuality for the way they look, for their clumsiness, smells and distinctive physicality. Feet are the space of objectification of the subject.
The fact that the sculpture is made of shoes that had been used is very important. 1444 worn shoes means that more than 1400 people and their stories are part of the Shoe Christ. Used things and especially shoes often evoke repulsion. There are not many people who buy second hand shoes, who want to wear shoes that have been worn by someone else. Shoes are a very personal property.
Shoes have become consumer goods and through their quantity and signifiers contribute to the overall image of consumer culture. Our cultural values and concepts increase their worth by being used. On the contrary, things produced by the same culture, lose their value the more used they are. We require pure matter and used ideas.
Our society does not want an illusion of originality, it needs the ritual of prayer or a repeated ditty to expiate evil thoughts. That´s the reason why we obsessively surround ourselves by things. The shoes in my installation are like rosary beads or the balls of the abacus.
Compulsion to refuse something that has been used is related to the tendency to refuse artworks or artistic procedures that are unoriginal in some way, by form or content. And all the while, the whole value-structure of Western society is directly based on constant repetition of conventions with near ritual obsession. This compulsion is a modernist neurosis.
Obsession and compulsion originate from distorted processing of ones experience, from tension between the profane and the sacred, creating desire for the forbidden. The difference between neurosis and artistic creation often starts with not refusing a thought which is normally considered as nonsense or absurd.
According to Sigmund Freud´s famous theory, our lives are essentially influenced by the way how we put up with our own shit during childhood. If this phase was retentive, we tend to be orderly, stubborn and need to control others. We need to collect, posses and amass things. Western society and its Christian tradition shows all these symptoms. If Freud was right, the task of historians would be to find out, when was it that we weren’t able to take that cultural shit.”