Tankin Animal Art

Tankin Animal Art

by Nozomu Uchida

Nozomu Uchida is a Japanese metal artist known for his animal sculptures. He applies the Japanese traditional method of “Tankin” to his work, which makes his work even more unique. His work not only accurately represents the shape and beauty his models, but also its natural characteristic ability.


Could you explain about the Japanese traditional method of “Tankin”?  And why did you decide to use this method for your work?

Tankin is the hammering of metal plates to create shapes. It might be easier to imagine the work of a sword blade blacksmith. I learned at art school about Tankin, and how you can create beautiful objects with daily practice and polishing your skills as you go along. It is an old style but this is how all the master Japanese craftsman created early masterpieces. It also appeals to me the idea of creating modern art using Japanese traditional methods.

Your artwork expresses the beauty of animals as well as its personality and features in a fun way. How do you come up with these ideas?

Once I decide what to create, I research their movements, personality, living environment as well as the impression people have of the particular animal. When you research well, you find out more about their inner personality which you can not see from outside. When I reach to that stage, I get inspiration and develop it into a solid idea.

What is your aim for the future?

My artwork demonstrates the biology, personality and impression of animals, similar to how you might learn about them in a guidebook. So, I would like to continue making a sort of art version of an animal guidebook, from which people can understand more about animals simply by looking at my art, without any written explanation.

The bull above is one of his latest works which recently found a home with a collector in Germany. His metal artwork is getting more and more popular abroad.

To see more of his great work, head over to his website.

Rieko Vining