As a child, Japanese artist Tatsuya Tanaka became very resourceful at playtime. His imagination grew stronger and stronger and didn’t stop in adulthood. His miniature installations use household items like toilet rolls and stalks of broccoli to create tiny, fantastical scenes in ways that make you see ordinary things in a whole new light. We caught up with Tatsuya to talk about his incredible imagination and work.
Have you always been an artist? When did you start making your miniature sculptures?
I have been making my miniature works everyday since April 20th, 2011.
What inspired you to start?
It originally started as a hobby of collecting miniature dolls. As a child, I wanted toys that I wasn’t allowed to have. To compensate I would use my imagination and use what I could find in the house to play with. For a building I would stack books. I would make a forest out of broccoli to play with my dolls. My experiences like this as a child have led to now. I then began staging scenes for my miniatures on Instagram, and it has progressed from there to establishing a style of posting one every day.
How long does it take you to create one of your miniature sculptures?
The time required for the production and shooting is about 2 to 4 hours. My ideas come from my everyday life, so it is difficult to measure the thinking time.
Why do you make one every day? Why in a calendar?
One day I got a comment on my Instagram saying “I want to see photos of new miniatures every day.” So I started to post everyday, and now I refer to them as my ‘miniature calendar’ because it resembles a daily tear-off calendar.
How many have you made? What materials do you use?
First I need to choose a universally common product whose size is easily conveyed or understood. Things like vegetables and stationery are good examples of things whose size is commonly known. But the size of things like unique toys and electrical appliances are sometimes harder for the viewer to imagine. When the size of the motif of the image is not communicated clearly, a lot of the fun of the idea is lost.
I have special storage to keep everything I find, no matter how useless they seem, because I never know when I might have an idea to use them. For example – the clip from the top of a bread bag or an empty toilet roll.
Which is your favorite sculpture?
The broccoli forest is my favorite, it has become my motif and the cover of my first photo book.
What message or feeling do you try to communicate with your art?
I want to offer new points of view and perspectives on everyday things, to show the fun that results if you just look at things a little differently.
Follow Tastuya’s daily posts on miniature-calendar.com