Akinori Tanaka is an artist and, at the same time, a professional chef. He uses cooking as a motif for his paintings, but this doesn’t simply mean representing through art a careful and pristine placement of food on a plate. His work also shows the atmosphere of the time when that food is eaten; the art thus gets to the questions of what cuisine means to people, and what it means to eat.
Further, these pieces are filled with small triangles, geometric shapes, and extremely thin lines and other elements that when looked upon have a mysterious feeling to them. These represent the cells of meat, fish, and vegetables; the feel of tables and utensils; and the steam and fragrances that wrap around the food itself. The delicateness expressed, and the sometimes shocking vividness of the colors used, are indeed works about food, but they make one feel strong vivacity and lively movement.
Tanaka engages with each ingredient one by one, closely observing each piece, and with his unique point of view sees the energy in life. Taking all of this in, just like cooking, he sweeps his brush across the canvas. For Tanaka, cooking and painting are the same. The only difference is, by the end, the object of one is gone while the other remains.
Akinori Tanaka was born in 1961 in Tokyo, Japan. Recent solo and group exhibitions include “A Taste of French Cuisine In Painting,” Isetan Art Gallery, Tokyo Japan (2013); “Restaurant Tanaka,” Bunkamura Box Gallery, Tokyo Japan (2012); “Japan France Contemporary Art Exhibition,” Tokyo Japan (2010); “International Art Salon,” Paris France (2009); and “39th Japan Today’s Arts Exhibition,” Ewing Gallery, Tennessee USA (2009). He received the Drawing Award in 39th Japan Today’s Arts Exhibition (2009).
Tanaka lives and works in Tokyo, Japan.