With a little bit of creativity and, occasionally, a whole lot of patience, any household item can be turned into material for art. And it’s often the most mundane of items that have the greatest impact. For Shunsuke Tani, a young biologist major-turned childcare specialist, it was spare change that was lying around his house that became one of his greatest passions.
Specifically, Tani primarily uses 1 and 5 yen coins, the lowest of denominations, and the occasional 500 yen or foreign currency coin, to create stunning, gravity-defying sculptures that, at any moment, look like the could come tumbling down. And indeed they do. To prove to skeptics who, understandably, claim he uses glue or some advanced form of computer graphics to render his creations, Tani occasionally shares videos of his sculptures falling down. It’s a painful moment that stands in stark contrasts with the hours of time and patience required for assembly.
Tani posts his creations to a twitter account where he often shares how much time each sculpture took to create (usually 2 – 3 hours). He also adds some self-deprecating humor like “I have no other skills in life, other than this” or “I sacrificed 2 hours of my life.”
According to an interview, Tani originally began stacking coins about 4 years ago. The inspiration came from the simple act of stacking a 10 and 1 yen coin had with him at the time. Tani’s art is a testament to the fact that even the most simple and ordinary can be honed to perfection.