Skip to main content

Artist Iichiro Tanaka Expands the World with “Nonsense”



A circle of friends connected by goo touch! The “FIST BUMP” corner of the radio program “GRAND MARQUEE” features people who live and enjoy Tokyo in a relay format.

On December 21, filmmaker/director Kosaku Shimamoto introduced artist Iichiro Tanaka. We asked him about the many works he has created while confronting “meaninglessness.

“Street Destroyer” which turns cracks into play

Tanaka: My name is Iichiro Tanaka, and I am in charge of “Nonsense”.

Takano (MC): Mr.Shimamoto introduced you as “No Message Man”.

Tanaka: Yes, yesterday Mr.,Shimamoto called me “No-Message Man,” but if anything, I am in charge of “nonsense,” and I take pride in being in charge of all the nonsense in the world.

Takano: I would like to delve into this in various ways.

Celeina (MC): While still in college, Mr. Tanaka has been presenting videos, photographs, and objects under the banner of “No Message, No Meaning” regardless of genre or social context. As a creative and art director, you have planned and directed projects such as the au “Santaro” series and Asahi draft beer.

Takano: We had a chance to take a look at your work, but first, please tell us about your work “Street Destroyer.

Tanaka: Many people know about it after it appeared on NHK’s E-television program “Shakin! but in fact, we have been working on it for about 20 years.

It is a photo work in which an old man in a red jersey holds his fist against a crack in the road, making it look as if he has created the crack. As I continued, I decided to make a video as a project for a children’s TV show, and children all over the country were able to imitate my work.

Celeina: He also brings small figures to the studio.

Tanaka: I thought it would be interesting to have a figure of an old man from who-knows-where, so I took the liberty of having him appear in the video. Then, many people said, “I want this gacha,” so we made it.

Takano: For example, if you place it on top of a cracked smartphone, it looks as if Mr. Tanaka is breaking the screen, right?

Tanaka: That’s right. If people think that “Street Destroyer” did the cracking in the world, they won’t have to blame anyone else.



NiEW recommends alternative music🆕

NiEW Best Music is a playlist featuring artists leading the music scene and offering alternative styles in our rapidly evolving society. Hailing from Tokyo, the NiEW editorial team proudly curates outstanding music that transcends size, genre, and nationality.