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Tiny Figurines Occupy Charming Miniature Worlds Built With Everyday Objects

Tiny Figure Sculptures by Tanaka Tatsuya

Seemingly ordinary household objects become props for miniature worlds in the art of Tatsuya Tanaka. Since 2011, the Japanese artist has been crafting immersive small-scale scenes, one for each day on the calendar. The ongoing project—aptly called Miniature Calendar—features playful, stage-like scenes made up of food, office supplies, and other items. They are inhabited by tiny, hand-painted figurines.

There is no limit to Tatsuya's imagination, and even the most boring object becomes interesting in his miniature setting. An ordinary dish sponge, for instance, becomes a frothy bubble bath while a bookcase transforms into a busy escalator and carefully stacked cookies look like a TV and couch. And even though these objects do not completely morph into what they're supposed to be, that is part of the project's charm. The fact that we know these tiny figurines are using hairpins as skateboards and scooters is why it's so amusing to look at.

While most of Tatsuya's art focuses on one or two figures, sometimes he challenges himself to create full-fledged environments with many characters interacting with their surroundings. An old-fashioned computer keyboard is repurposed as a park with blossoming cherry trees in the background. Similarly, a bunch of grapes carefully arranged becomes a tree-lined street fit for a carriage ride. Of course, none of these clever scenes would come alive without the addition of Tatsuya's tiny figures, which add instant whimsy to every story.

Scroll down to check out some of Tatsuya’s miniature scenes, and follow him on Instagram to see a new miniature landscape each day.

Japanese artist Tatsuya Tanaka crafts daily, miniature art from everyday objects and tiny figurines in his ongoing series,  Miniature Calendar.

Tiny Figure Sculptures by Tanaka TatsuyaTiny Figure Sculptures by Tanaka TatsuyaTiny Figure Sculptures by Tanaka Tatsuya

The stage-like scenes are made up of food, office supplies, and other items.

Tiny Figure Sculptures by Tanaka TatsuyaTiny Figure Sculptures by Tanaka TatsuyaTiny Figure Sculptures by Tanaka Tatsuya

Even though these objects do not completely morph into what they're supposed to be, that is part of the project's charm.

Tiny Figure Sculptures by Tanaka TatsuyaTiny Figure Sculptures by Tanaka TatsuyaTiny Figure Sculptures by Tanaka Tatsuya

The fact that we know these tiny figurines are using hairpins as skateboards and scooters is why it's so amusing to look at.

Tiny Figure Sculptures by Tanaka TatsuyaTiny Figure Sculptures by Tanaka TatsuyaTiny Figure Sculptures by Tanaka TatsuyaTiny Figure Sculptures by Tanaka Tatsuya

Tanaka has been working on this project since 2011 and shows no signs of slowing down.

Tiny Figure Sculptures by Tanaka TatsuyaTiny Figure Sculptures by Tanaka TatsuyaTiny Figure Sculptures by Tanaka TatsuyaTiny Figure Sculptures by Tanaka TatsuyaTiny Figure Sculptures by Tanaka Tatsuya

Tatsuya Tanaka: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Tatsuya Tanaka.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. When she’s not writing, Margherita continues to develop her creative practice in sequential art.
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