Shunsuke Tani.

Absolutely mindblowing, this. Delight and joy in every look. Shunsuke Tani builds coin sculptures, which can, and do fall apart now and then, but the beauty of these ephemeral sculptures can’t be denied.


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.


There’s much more at Spoon & Tamago. And yes, I’ll probably give this a try, or at least make Rick try, we have the obligatory huge jar of coins. Don’t hold your breath though, I’ve never been good with coins, outside spending them. :D


  1. rq says

    Well. That is skill in the fine art of finding balance of multiple solid bodies. I am suitably impressed, and want to try it myself, but I fear I lack the patience. :D Wow.

  2. says

    That’S some fine motor skills and physics at work

    !we have the obligatory huge jar of coins.

    Don’t we all? 4 kg of 1, 2 and 5 Cent pieces, 3.8 kg of coins above that, though to be honest the latter is my savings jar for “fun things that cost way too much money”

  3. chigau (ever-elliptical) says

    1-yen coins are made of aluminum.
    You can move them by breathing too hard.

  4. rq says

    We’re saving our large jar of coins (6kg?) for that time when copper prices suddenly skyrocket and we’ll be filthy rich. They’re too small for sculpting, though -- for grown-up fingers.

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