Tanya Tanaka - Artist in Tokyo

Tanya Tanaka

I'm an artist in Tokyo, Japan

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I speak English and Japanese

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About me

I make multilayered black and white digital photographs and digital drawings/paintings.

The photos consist of about five layers each and are taken in Tokyo for the most part,

The drawing/painting prints are also multilayered cityscapes, consisting of about 10 to more than 30 layers each and are of two types, either full colour composites or black lines similar to architectural plans.

As I take the photos or create the paintings, I draw with light in the photographs, or lines and colour in the paintings, to investigate the complex visions we cannot find in real life. The resulting images are similar to the convoluted world of dreams which have been described as logically impossible mixtures of memories. I use a layering approach to express the strange cut and paste world of dreams. In my dreams, there always seems to be a odd collection of memories stitched together in a way that makes unquestionable sense in the moment, but upon waking, can only be deciphered through an analytical process.

Bio
Although I was raised in California and a small island in the Irish Sea, I am a (very) long term resident of Japan, both in Kansai and in Tokyo where I live and work. I use a variety of media in my work, including photography, painting, drawing and printing, and would like to do large scale projections as well as sculptures at some point. I also design textiles for fashion and interiors. I have a BA in Asian Studies as well as a BA (Hons) from Central St Martins College of Art and Design (Fashion Department, Textile Design for Fashion and Interiors, Print), and an MFA from The Slade School of Fine Art at University College London (Painting and Print).

My Creations

  1. Digital drawing/painting on iPad Pro using Procreate

  2. Kyoto

  3. Digital drawing/painting on iPad Pro using Procreate

  4. Part of a series of black and white multilayered photos mostly taken in Japan and Europe

  5. Sakura season blast

    12 April 2016

    Made with Procreate on iPad Pro

  6. Shibuya wired wires

    12 April 2016

    One of thousands of colour photos documenting the disappearing wires that connect us in the wifi environment

  7. Digital drawing with black lines only of a spot in Daikanyama I like to draw and photograph using many layers of the same place at different angles.

  8. Digital drawing with black lines and tones of a spot in Daikanyama I like to draw and photograph using many layers of the same place at different angles.

  9. Digital drawing with black lines and colours of a spot in Daikanyama I like to draw and photograph using many layers of the same place at different angles.

  10. Aoyama 1-chome

    24 April 2016

    Multilayered composite of Aoyama 1-chome re-imagined to show a blast of colour in what is a uniformly grey slice of urban jungle.

  11. Ode to Zaha Hadid

    29 April 2016

    I've been wanting to draw something based on Zaha Hadid's work and happened to see a NYTimes story about seven of her iconic buildings. I ended up using five photos from the article to make layers of lines directly representing her work. I then added layers of colour from Zaha... continue reading (0, 1 image)

  12. Since I'm always looking for lines in the man made environment to use in my drawings/paintings, I was very enthusiastically taking photos of the rigging and masts of the Star of India in San Diego when I noticed a Manx flag, a highly unusual sight. As a half Manx person... continue reading (0, 1 image)