About Jason David Tanner

Jason David Tanner is a painter and fine artist based in Tokyo, Japan. He was born in Bitburg, Germany in 1974 and  began his painting career at an early age. He received recognition early on by winning  art competitions in his local school districts and at the state level.  

Jason's work is notable for his bold sense of color and light. He studied painting at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and continued to hone his craft at the New School University in New York City. In 2001, he began painting in oil and acrylic on canvas professionally. Jason is a self-taught artist who developed his unique style while surviving mainly by working on commissions; granted  from generous benefactors around the world.   

The principle theme in Jason's work comes from the relationship between society, symbols, and time. He tries to capture moments in space and time that reflect the true nature of the subjects at hand; each painting creating a record of sorts, marking each subject's story into existence.

Currently he has been  working with the  modern concepts of  what is temporary and what is permanent in regards to art and painting.  It is this quest for knowledge which drives his most recent body of work.

Artist Statement

At the moment I am most interested in the relationship between things that are temporary
and permanent. As my own mortality stares at me in the face, I wonder at the differences
between what is lasting and what fades over time. I feel as if life at times is a dream that
we are never really sure of the reality of any situation. Whether I exist in a space in time,
what will be left behind that will signify that I was here, present; remembered. The
thought of not having a lasting impact on the world around you puts your life and process
in acute harmony with the surrounding themes and context of your life. I want to capture
the temporary and hold it until it becomes a permanent fixture in the landscape. Each life
has meaning and each painting, a moment in time, has a story to convey. My work
explores these relationships and strives to convey the duality of the present and possible

First Job

Believe it or not, but my first job was as a balloon decorator. I was 15 years old and living in Abu Dhabi, UAE at the time. A local decorator needed help setting up for a wedding that was taking place in a grand hotel ballroom. I learned many different sculptural techniques because of that job.  

Moving Around

We moved around quite a bit when I was growing up. My father worked as a contractor for a defense company, so we moved to a different country every couple of years. I lived in Jordan, Egypt, The U.A.E., Switzerland, and the United States. In the U.S. I lived in Texas, Georgia, Washington, and New York.

Living in Japan 

The hardest part about living in Japan has been getting used to a culture and society that is completely different from my own. Communication has been my greatest adversary, but despite my struggles, Japan has become a second home to me. It helps that my wife and  two daughters are Japanese and help me everyday. 

Life as an Artist

Mostly I believe that art can convey the strongest emotions on the planet. When you are creating and working there is no sense of time or space; there is only yourself and your craft.  Unfortunately, as we all know, finding time and energy to create that space will always be difficult.

Using Format