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Art Watch : Tatsuya Tanaka

Tatsuya Tanaka is in focus for our Art Watch for today. This section is brought to you by Art From Us and Divvya Nirula. The Artists we spotlight here can be from any field, across any discipline, and using a variety of media. We share here why we think they are important and worth watching. Be it genius creators of eras gone by. Or the upcoming contemporary artist who is yet to have their first show. All come under the purview of Art Watch.

Tatsuya Tanaka’s work is an example of ingenious contemporary Japanese art. His work illustrates resourcefulness, unbound imagination and dedicated creativity, along with a determined commitment.

This artist was born in Kumamoto, Japan, but this miniature artist and photographer only decided to showcase his works in 2011. And he started exhibiting in 2012. He began by re-create scenes from the realm of possible experiences, in current times and present them to us in mini diorama’s.

What makes his work interesting is the use of everyday objects and of course the quaint and ever intriguing miniature dolls with which he creates these scenes for us. The meticulousness with which he crafts each piece is incredible as it is incredulous.  

Tanaka’s largest and most popular collection of work is titled ‘Miniature Calendar’ and it features unique dioramas for every day of the year. The project was initiated by Tanaka himself as a means to catalogue and photograph his own personal collection of diorama dolls in to-scale scenes. This soon expanded into the project as we know it today.

One is interested in the process of the artist – how do they source the material and how does it translate onto the scenes that it does.

Why Tatsuya Tanaka?

“I make a conscious effort to chose universal materials whose scale can be understood. for example, we can see the scale of vegetables or stationary; as opposed to unique toys or electric appliances whose dimensions are more difficult to understand. without understanding the scope of the motif, the interest and intention of the idea decreases – so I pay attention to these matters. in collecting my materials, I make a conscious effort to keep things even though they might seem useless, such as clips for closing bread packaging, clothes tags, toilet paper rolls, ice lolly sticks and so on… because I don’t always know right away how they will be useful.”

Tanaka explains. This is a very important aspect for the creative process because there are several players in the miniatures game what with the concept of combo photos on the social media have become a fad – but he insists that he likes to keep it real by using materials that people would relate to.

Tanaka also displays a rare discipline and a commitment to his work and to his audience because a project that he started in 2011 went onto continue for the next five years. The audience expectations also rose and he had to come with newer and innovative scenes.

Tatsuya Tanaka says – “posting works every single day, in itself is my challenge. Those who have seen my works all the way through to this point have a good eye, so creating ideas that exceed their expectations is also a challenge. after certain ideas are exhausted, I think there will always be more interesting ones.”


For more Artists handpicked by Divvya Nirula – explore the ART WATCH archive.

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