It’s a small world after all: Tiny figurines occupy miniature worlds built with everyday objects

March 29, 2022

Seemingly ordinary household objects have become props for miniature worlds in the art of Tatsuya Tanaka. In fact, since 2011, the Japanese artist has been crafting immersive small-scale scenes—one for each day on the calendar, reports My Modern Met.

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 diminutive, hand-painted figurines.

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.

Follow Tatsuya’s on Instagram to see a new miniature landscape each day.

Research contact: @mymodernmet