“A Painting is a window that allows you to take a peek. Alot of people who are able to afford my paintings tend to have a high financial capacity. Being influenced by their life experiences up to that point of time, those people are likely to have a set perspective and viewpoint of the world. I would like them to have the opportunity to be aware of new dynamics and new ways of seeing the world through a different window that is a painting. I think that by acquiring that new window called Takuma Tanaka’s painting , people can experience a change in their view of life. “
Meet Takuma Tanaka. A rising Artist whose paintings are currently stored at the Ulster Museum, the National Museum of the United Kingdom. Takuma’s paintings are known to be highly bid by art enthusiasts in the global market.
Many of us may still have a fresh memory from an article published by United Nations celebrating World Art Day back in April. The article stated “this time of confinement can also be a period of openness to others and to culture, to strengthen the links between artistic creation and society”.
While the importance of art is starting to be recognized in our current climate, being able to gaze into the artists’ mind and experiences, may be the greatest pleasure one could imagine as to learn the resilience of artists and their vision of our world.
Born in Edogawa Ward in 1997 Japan, Takuma was raised in an environment that encouraged his pursuit of high education.
The pivot of his perspective in life is something that separates him from others.
“At the root of all the works that I make is the theme of overhead view.
That is observing the world and society from bird's-eye view. ”
Takuma shared when asked about his paintings and his initiative.
This is the interview to dive deep into the mind of a rising artist, Takuma Tanaka.
In the beginning, I lived a life that had nothing to do with art and painting. As a child I I was good at studying and eventually I studied law at Waseda University. After graduating from university, I continued my study aiming to pass the bar examination.
Each day I would study for 16hours and because of such intense habit at one point I became mentally and physically troubled. In the midst of that, once day i was recommended by my doctor to explore painting as an option. With that begging I start painting as selling professionally. Paintings that I started selling on the street for a fraction are now being sold for more than 10thousand US dollars. Domestic auction sites have been trading at more than 100 times the price over the last eight years. In addition, my artwork is also available at gallery auctions in Paris, London, and the United States.
The Challenges and path forward
The biggest challenge I experienced at the begging stage when I was selling art in public scenes.
Whether during summer time under the scorching sun or winter time when it was extremely cold outside, I would line up paintings on the street by the train station and greeted to people walking by.
Most people will just walk by and only a few people would stop and take a look at my art works. Although sometime there were random people who will swear while passing by, “you need to go to art school and do better”, gradually number of people who bought my art work increased and some people left a positive feed back saying “your work is unique” or “it resembles the work of a great painter”.
So that was my journey and compared to that uncertain and tough time, any hardships after that was way easier to overcome.
Window to a new perspective and experience
My initiative is consisted of 2 elements. Painting and selling, Educating people about painting. At the root of all the work that I pursue is the theme of “overhead view”. That is observing the world and society from bird's-eye view. Rather than analyzing one micro thing in detail, I look at things from a broad perspective, find something in common/pattern, and I express that. It is my wish for people to cultivate this perspective of viewing the world.
I started focusing on delivering my paintings globally around the year of 2008. The first location was New York, I made a decision to travel without any certainty and some how I was able to have a picture placed in the gallery. Since then, i gradually expanded overseas and I was able to have my paintings stored in the The Ulster Museum, the National Museum of England.
With all of that effort my name recognition expanded and now I am able to continue my career with the generous support of my fans.
Now as for my teaching at the painting school, I think that the therapeutic aspect of painting is significantly making a positive difference. I could not stress enough how important it is for people to be able to express their thoughts and feelings without worrying about the judgment of others.
I think that those who come to the painting class can become more active in doing what they want to do and saying what they want to say by realizing that and by experiencing that sort of permission.
Future of connectivity
“My goal is to improve the good flow of society through art and contribute to the positive rebuild.
Art I believe can stir that current dynamics and encourage connectivity.
Even with situations like I was in, where I had no money and I was mentally and physically worn out, by painting I was able to recover and continuously move forward. Some times those paintings that i created back in those tough times get purchased by wealthy individuals. With a scenario like that you could witness the flow of how money can travel from the top to the down bottom.
Art I believe can cultivate a type of different flow in the world. It transcends social classes, languages, borders and cultures. Through that effect, I want to contribute towards the effort of smoothening our current flow of society from where the flow of money, people, and information are huddled in one place to a society that is more connected and more flowing across the board.”
In recent times “how to keep art alive” has been on top of a cultural debate across the globe. One of the common opinion is “it requires the twofold approach of supporting cultural professionals and institutions”.
Although the discussion is taking part from the perspective of “saving art”, when viewing from an over view perspective, we can notice that there are things we could learn from by interacting with art. Whether that is a technical ability or cultivating perspectives. In the midst of our current climate perhaps as important as policies required for the general public, Thanks to artist like Takuma Tanaka, Art in short may serve as the driven force that restores and improves connectivity in our daily lives.
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.