Started working in glass in 1991 in Aichi, Japan, and has been working in California for 12 years.
A reverence for light phenomena characterizes Kana Tanaka’s body of work. She seeks to inspire curiosity and exploration through glass and light. As an Arts & Crafts major at the National Aichi University of Education in Japan, she became captivated by the qualities of molten glass, leading her to specialize in glassblowing. She continued to study glass as a medium for emphasizing experiences of light during her advanced studies for an MFA degree at Rhode Island School of Design (1996-1999). Her style shifted from making small objects to creating site-specific installation works involving the viewer in rich, multi-dimensional experiences.
Tanaka creates situations that surround the audience and affect their senses directly and broadly. By means of exaggeration, amplification, distortion and division, she seeks to generate new perceptions. Viewers become part of the work as they interact with it and observe light. Glass is the net she uses for sharing the experiences of light with others.
As a recipient of artist grants from Pollock Krasner foundation and POLA art foundation of Tokyo, Tanaka has exhibited her work at galleries and theaters in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2002. She has also completed several large-scale permanent public art installations in Fairfield, Lafayette, and Alameda, California, as well as in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Born and raised in Aichi, Japan, Tanaka moved to California at the end of 2000 to expand her career in art with glass and light. She currently works on public art commissions for Washington State University and Central Connecticut State University.